EU Leaders: Egypt's Transition to Democracy Must Start Now
The leaders of the EU and its 27 member states, including Bulgaria, have thrown their weight behind the Egyptians protesting with demands for greater democracy.
They declared their position at their summit Friday their position that a transition to a democratic government in Egypt must start immediately.
The EU Council said it is following with great concern the deteriorating situation in Egypt, which has seen 11 days of massive protests, including also violent clashes, demanding the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak.
"The European Council called on the Egyptian authorities to meet the aspirations of the Egyptian people with political reform not repression. All parties should show restraint and avoid further violence and begin an orderly transition to a broad based government. The European Council underlined that this transition process must start now. The basis for the EU's relationship with Egypt must be the principles set out in the Association Agreement and the commitments made," the EU leaders declared.
"The European Council saluted the peaceful and dignified expression by the Tunisian and Egyptian people of their legitimate, democratic, economic and social aspirations which are in accord with the values the European Union promotes for itself and throughout the world... The European Union is determined to lend its full support to the transition processes towards democratic governance, pluralism, improved opportunities for economic prosperity and social inclusion, and strengthened regional stability," the EU Council declaration states.
It has asked the EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Catherine Ashton to convey the EU message on her forthcoming visit to Tunisia and Egypt and to develop a package of measures aimed at lending European Union support to the transition and transformation processes, including by linking the European Neighborhood Policy and the Union for the Mediterranean to these objectives.
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