Ashton: Egyptian people need to decide country's future

EU foreign policy chief says values of human rights and freedom need to be at heart of any change; other EU leaders urge dialogue.

By JPOST.COM STAFF, ASSOCIATED PRESS
February 4, 2011 19:07
2 minute read.
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eu flag 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on Friday said that the "Egyptian people need to decide the future of the country and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak needs to listen to the people on the streets."

Seaking to Al-Jazeera in Brussles, Ashton said that the EU was very clear about wanting to see a peaceful transition. She said that the values of human rights and freedom need to be at heart of any change.

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Ashton said that the EU has been in contact with international capitals all week and explained that the EU was the first to put out a statement on the volatile situation in Egypt.

When asked about the Middle East peace process, Ashton said that she has been working very closely with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli government officials.

Earlier on Friday, British Prime Minister David Cameron said that if the Egyptian regime uses violence on protesters it will lose any remaining international credibility it has left.

The steps the Egyptian government has taken so far have failed to meet the aspirations of the Egyptian people, Cameron said as he arrived in Brussels for a European Union summit that was supposed to be dominated by economic matters.

"Above all, the message is this: if we see on the streets of Cairo today state-sponsored violence or the hiring of thugs to beat up protesters, then Egypt and its regime would lose any remaining credibility and support it has in the eyes of the watching world, including Britain," Cameron said.



Other European Union leaders arriving for the summit Friday called for a "national dialogue" between the g139951overnment and opposition in Egypt amid escalating violent protests.

Click here for full Jpost coverage of unrest in 

Egypt

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