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EU calls on military to stand aside in Egypt

EU awaits Egypt to return to 'civilian-led' path and remove military from politics

AFP , Monday 22 Jul 2013
EU
France's President Francois Hollande (L) and Italy's Prime Minister Mario Monti attend a meeting during European Union leaders summit in Brussels (Photo: Reuters)
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EU foreign ministers called Monday on Egypt's military to stand aside and allow a peaceful transition to civilian rule after ousting the elected government earlier this month.

Expressing "deep concern" over developments in Egypt, ministers said "the armed forces should not play a political role in a democracy."

Instead they "must accept and respect the constitutional authority of civilian power as a basic principle".

"It is now of utmost importance that Egypt embarks on a transition, allowing a transfer of power to a civilian-led and democratically elected government," ministers said in a statement after a regular meeting.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton recently visited Egypt to convey the same concerns and arriving for the meeting earlier Monday stressed again the importance of a democratic transition.

"We will be looking to make sure that Egypt gets back on the path to democracy," Ashton said, adding that "this is about democracy, making sure that that happens."

Egypt's toppled president Mohamed Morsi has been detained at an unknown location since his overthrow by the army on 3 July following mass protests against him.

Several countries, including the United States and Germany, have called for his release but the interim government has rejected these calls, saying that he is being held in a "safe place."

EU foreign ministers said "Egypt has to move rapidly to an inclusive democratic transformation process, including by the holding of democratic elections in the shortest possible time."

Among a list of demands, ministers cited an "end to politically motivated arrests" and "the release of all political detainees, including Mohamed Morsi."

The European Union remained ready to "assist the Egyptian people in their desire for a democratic and prosperous future," they concluded.

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Michel Goubran
23-07-2013 10:59am
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EU & Egypt
Do us a favor please: bless us with your silence. Our brave military saved our country from fascists, terrorists & ruthless killers, namely the Moslem Brotherhood which is still Fighting, raping,killing & kidnapping in the streets of Cairo. Thanks for your help but, again, leave us alone.
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Samantha Criscione
23-07-2013 06:21am
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The EU statement: hypocrisy, post modern style
The EU statement a) calls for full rights and equality for all Egyptians including women and religious minorities and b) says that the Brotherhood "must" (that's the word the EU uses -- must!) "must be allowed to work freely and enjoy full freedom of expression." But the reason the great majority of Egyptians demanded MORSI OUT is that they learned the hard way that the Brotherhood's clerical fascist project makes rights for anyone but members of the Brotherhood's fascist party impossible. So the EU's stuff about human rights for all is just blather, just pretty clothing to hide the monstrous nature of what the EU is really saying: EGYPT MUST GIVE FULL FREEDOM FOR FASCISM. Don't prosecute their leaders for crimes. Give the poor Brotherhood members -- the statement refers to them as suffering from "deep frustration" (that's the EU's phrase) -- give the poor Brotherhood members "full freedom of expression" to murder people in Cairo's Manial neighborhood, in Sinai, in Upper Egypt, in Alexandria; let them terrorize Copts, so that the poor Brothers don't suffer deep frustrations! And, by the way, who are these EU leaders, these babbling post modernists, to be telling ANY Egyptian, let alone the army and the interim government, what they "MUST" do? Must? Shall Egyptians now be permitted to tell the European states what THEY must do? Or would that be a violation of national sovereignty? Anyway, at least now we now where the Brotherhood's real constituency is located: not in Cairo. Not in Alexandria. Not any longer in rural areas. But in Brussels and Washington, DC.--Samantha Criscione
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