On 21 August at an extraordinary meeting of the European Union Foreign Affairs Council Linas Linkevičius, Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs, together with his colleagues from other EU Member States discussed the situation in Egypt and the position and steps to be taken by the EU in response to the on-going crisis in the country.
The Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs pointed out that Egypt is one of the key European partners in the Mediterranean region; the European Union cannot therefore afford to linger as a country in its neighbourhood plunges into political chaos.
According to the Minister Linkevičius, “violence and casualties can never be justified; yet, calls to prevent violence in the country have so far been to no avail. Therefore the EU must reconsider its cooperation with Egypt and take additional measures to accomplish impact.”
Key targets of the EU include immediate stop to violence and repressions in the country as well as restoration of democratic processes, rule of law and respect for human rights as well as initiation of dialogue involving every political power.
According to the Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs, “the only way out of current deadlock is reconciliation process, based on rules of democracy and involving every political power in the country. The European Union can and must provide its support. Particular responsibility to stabilise situation in the country falls on the provisional national government.”
The meeting adopted the conclusions by the Foreign Affairs Council, whereby the EU condemned in the clearest possible terms all acts of violence and called on all Egyptians to halt violence and refrain from actions that would incite further violence, including provocations, incitement and hate speech. The EU urges 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. The EU will monitor the situation in Egypt closely and readjust its cooperation accordingly. Member States also agreed to suspend export licenses to Egypt of any equipment which might be used for internal repression.