Monday, January 31, 2011

Council of the European Union: conclusions on Egypt

FOREIGN AFFAIRS Council meeting - Brussels, 31 January 2011

The Council adopted the following conclusions:

"1. The Council recognizes the legitimate democratic aspirations and grievances of the Egyptian population. These should be listened to carefully and addressed through urgent, concrete and decisive measures.

2. The Council deeply regrets the considerable loss of life during demonstrations in Egypt over the last few days. It also notes with deep concern the high number of people injured and arrested as well as the use of violence. The Council calls on all parties to show restraint and avoid further violence. It urges the Egyptian authorities to immediately release all peaceful demonstrators who have been detained. The Council also calls upon the Egyptian authorities to restore all communication networks without delay and to guarantee unhindered access to all media, including the Internet.

3. The Council urges the Egyptian authorities to respect and protect human rights including freedom of assembly and freedom of expression. It urges them to take appropriate measures to assure the security of all citizens and their property and to protect the cultural heritage. It calls for an immediate end to looting.

4. The Council urges the authorities to seek a peaceful and constructive way forward based on a serious and open dialogue with all political forces ready to abide by democratic norms and with civil society.

5. The Council urges the Egyptian authorities to embark on an orderly transition through a broad- based government leading to a genuine process of substantial democratic reform with full respect for the rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms, paving the way for free and fair elections.

6. The Council reiterates its support for a democratic, pluralist and stable Egypt as a key partner of the EU, mindful of its important regional role, and sharing the goal of building stability, peace and prosperity in the Mediterranean and Middle East region. The EU is committed to accompanying, through a partnership, the Egyptian transformation process by mobilising, reviewing and adapting existing instruments to support political, economic and social reforms. The EU stands ready to assist the Egyptian people in this transformation process, taking into account future developments."



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