World Bulletin/News Desk
The European Union (EU) decided on Wednesday to suspend its supply of weapons to Egypt, in light of recent bloody crackdown by Egyptian security forces on anti-coup protesters in Cairo.
At the extraordinary meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council on Egypt, EU foreign ministers agreed to stop selling to Egypt weapons and military articles that could be used against Egyptian civilians as a means of violence and pressure.
The member states would "suspend export licences to Egypt of any equipment which might be used for internal repression," foreign ministers agreed at talks in Brussels.
The final decisions would be taken at national level, not by the EU as a whole, EU's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton noted.
The ministers agreed to review the EU's financial assistance to Egypt, Ashton also said, adding that assistance to the most vulnerable groups and civil society "must continue."
In the final conclusion of the EU extraordinary meeting, EU stressed that the recent operations of the Egyptian security forces have been disproportionate and resulted in an" unacceptable large number of deaths and injuries," noting the announcement on 18 August 2013 to launch an independent investigation into all the killings, and calling on the government to exercise "restraint".
The EU also strongly condemned acts of terrorism such as the murder of police officers in the Sinai, destruction of many churches and the targeting of the Coptic community, attacks on government installations and museums.
"EU recalls that it defends freedom of religion or belief in any circumstances, and condemns any attack against any place of worship, and against any person because of their religion or beliefs," added the final conclusion.
EU urged all political parties to engage in a real and inclusive dialogue in order to restore a democratic process responding to the legitimate requests and aspirations of the Egyptian people.
"EU looks forward to the rapid convening of an inclusive national dialogue open to all political forces and takes note of the reaffirmation by the Egyptian authorities of their commitment to implement the Roadmap as stated in the declaration of 20 August. The EU reiterates its readiness to assist the people of Egypt in their quest for a stable, inclusive, democratic and prosperous Egypt," the statement said.Güncelleme Tarihi: 22 Ağustos 2013, 10:21