France condemns 'terrorism' in Egypt during 25 January anniversary

Ahram Online , Monday 27 Jan 2014

French ministry of foreign affairs also calls for citizens' right to protest peacefully

France's ministry of foreign affairs has denounced last week's deadly violence in Egypt and also called for authorities to "respect" the right to demonstrate in a "peaceful manner," the ministry's website reported on Monday.

Sixty-four people died in clashes with security forces on Saturday, the third anniversary of the 25 January 2011 revolution. On Friday a string of four bombings rocked Greater Cairo, killing at least six people and injuring dozens of others.

Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, an Al-Qaeda-inspired militant group whose name means Partisans of Jerusalem, claimed responsibility for Friday's largest bomb blast at Cairo's central police headquarters.

"France expresses its sympathy to the victims’ families. It reaffirms its condemnation of terrorism, irrespective of the perpetrators or motives," the France Diplomatie website said.

Commenting on Saturday's protests, in which over 1000 were arrested for defying a newly-passed protest law which forbids all demonstrations not pre-approved by authorities, the statement said that all should have the freedom to assemble and demonstrate, along with the "duty to exercise this right in a peaceful manner."

France further expressed hope that Egypt's current political process will "lead to the establishment of democratic and civilian institutions that will guarantee fundamental freedoms."

"These institutions must be open to all political movements that reject violence, in accordance with the commitments undertaken in the [transitional] road map and the principles enshrined in the constitution."

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