EU to avoid ‘formal dialogue’ with Egypt until formation of elected govt

Brussels—The European Council announced on Sunday that the foreign ministers of its 27 member states would not engage in "formal dialogue" with Egypt until the formation of a democratic government the country. The announcement came during a business lunch on the sidelines of council meetings in Brussels on Monday.

“There won't be a formal dialogue with Egypt until a democratically elected government is formed,” said Michael Mann on behalf of Catherine Ashton, the high representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs. What exactly Michael Mann meant by "formal dialogue" is unclear.

Nevertheless, Mann said that the EU is considering Egypt’s request for financial aid, referring to a request for around 449 million euros in aid for 2011-2013.

“Yet the recent raids on the Cairo headquarters of civil society organizations are still a great concern for Europe,” he added. 

“We have allocated 4 million euros for the elections to support stability, and another 1.7 million euros for civil society organizations,” he said.

He also said that the European Union is following developments in Egypt very closely, and that it has denounced repeated clashes between security forces and demonstrators, military trials of civilians, the continued use of emergency law, and human rights violations.

The EU has urged the Egyptian authorities to conduct independent investigations and bring those responsible for such violations to trial before civilian courts. On more than one occasion, it has stressed the need for a quick transfer of power to a democratically elected civilian government.

Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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