EU High Representative Catherine Ashton
Credit: The Council of the European Union
“The High Representative is following with concern the latest developments in Egypt and deeply deplores the loss of life during […] demonstrations. […]Human Rights, including the fundamental freedoms of association and expression must be respected.” a statement by the spokesperson of EU's Ashton read shortly before the High Representative headed to Egypt.
The release called on the responsible interim authorities to ensure peaceful demonstrations and on all parties to refrain from violence, assuring that the EU “will continue to stand by the Egyptian people and support their democratic aspirations” and stating that confrontation is not a solution in Egypt.
The press release comes after violence took place in Cairo and other governorates in Egypt, as supporters and opponents of ousted President Mohamed Morsi, as well as security forces were involved in deadly clashes. Egypt's vice presidency stated that Ashton is visiting Cairo today, in what Reuters labelled as a "mediation visit".
In her aforementioned statement, Ashton emphasized the importance of including the Muslim Brotherhood in a rapid, most inclusive transformation process, which should lead to free elections, a civil-led government and a constitutional order. She also highlighted the importance of preventing “interference from actors outside the democratic framework”, assuring she remained in contact with key interlocutors.
The High Representative also referred to previous statements, demanding the release of former president Mohamed Morsi, his close advisors and other detainees, as “new charges at this time will not contribute to the constructive environment Egypt needs”.
“Reconciliation and dialogue are paramount at this critical juncture. There is no room for hate-speech and other forms of incitement,” she added.
Two weeks ago, Ashton voiced her concern about the continuing deterioration of Egypt’s economy, and extended an invitation to Egypt’s interim authorities to “take urgent and concrete measures to tackle the economic challenges”.