UK urges Egypt to encourage not impede NGOs

London - Amer Sultan, Saturday 31 Dec 2011

The United Kingdom expressed deep concern over recent security raids on the offices of some NGOs in Egypt

Jeremy Browne
UK Foreign Office Minister Jeremy Browne (Photo: Reuters)

The United Kingdom has called on Egyptian authorities to support the activities of civil society organisations after a recent spate of raids by security forces on the offices of some NGOs. “We are very concerned by reports from Cairo of raids on the offices of a number of Egyptian and foreign NGOs,” Jeremy Browne, the UK foreign minister, said in a statement Friday.

He added that these NGOs, “have been supporting the transition to democracy in Egypt”.

Browne, whose responsibilities include human rights and public diplomacy, praised Egyptian civil society organisations. "Civil society (in Egypt) has a vitally important role to play in that transition and should be encouraged and supported rather than impeded," he said.

Alistair Burt, UK Middle East and North Africa minister, told Ahram Online last week that the UK government funded some Egyptian NGO's political and electoral projects in 2011 with more than £1.5m.

The UK plans to increase the fund in 2012.

“We urge the Egyptian authorities to avoid taking any action that would make the democratic process less inclusive or inhibit the positive work of these and similar organisations,” Browne said in his statement.

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