Leaders call on EU to condemn Egypt violence, review ties

Hollande, Letta call for end to violence, return to national dialogue and elections, Merkel urges EU to reexamine relations.

By REUTERS
August 16, 2013 19:29
1 minute read.
France's President Hollande and German Chancellor Merkel at the Elysee Palace in Paris, May 30, 2013

Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Charles Platiau)

BERLIN - The leaders of Germany, France, Britain and Italy urged the European Union on Friday to send a united message condemning the violence in Egypt, with Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel calling on Brussels to review its ties with the country.

Protests by supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi turned violent across Egypt on Friday, as the Muslim Brotherhood staged a "Day of Rage", two days after an assault by security forces on its protesters killed hundreds.

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Merkel and French President Francois Hollande called for EU foreign ministers to meet next week to discuss the nature of the bloc's ties with Cairo.

"The chancellor explained that in view of the latest developments, the German government would review its relations with Egypt," Merkel's office said in a statement after the two leaders spoke by phone.

"She agreed with the President that the EU should also undertake a comprehensive review of its relations with Egypt."

Hollande also spoke with Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta on Friday. The two men called for an end to violence in Egypt and a return to national dialogue and elections, a statement from Hollande's office read.

Both agreed that EU foreign ministers should come up with a coordinated reaction to the events, the statement said.

British Prime Minister David Cameron called European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso to express his concern about the situation, Cameron's office said in a statement.

"They agreed on the need for the EU to send a strong and united message that the violence must end and that there should be transition to a genuine democracy, which would require compromise from all sides," the statement added.


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