Germany’s Foreign Affairs Minister Guido Westerwelle talks to EU’s Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton before an emergency meeting over Egypt in Brussels, Belgium on August 21, 2013.
Wed Aug 21, 2013 4:57PM GMT
Foreign ministers of the European Union (EU) have agreed to suspend the sale of arms and security equipment to Egypt as well as to review aid to the country, EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton says.
During an extraordinary EU Foreign Affairs Council on Wednesday in Brussels, the ministers of the 28-nation bloc agreed to suspend export licenses for Egypt for any equipment used for “internal repression,” she said.
Ashton also said the foreign ministers strongly denounced the disproportionate use of force by the Egyptian security forces.
“We strongly condemn all acts of violence and we do believe the recent actions of the military have been disproportionate,” said Ashton.
The EU’s chief diplomat also reported that the ministers agreed to review assistance given to the country but that aid to the most vulnerable in Egypt will not be affected.
“All member states feel very strongly they want to continue to support the people of Egypt.”
Furthermore, the union called “on all sides” to end the violence taking place and urged all sides to go back to the negotiating table to agree on a political solution to the crisis.
Egypt has been experiencing unrelenting violence since the army toppled former president, Mohamed Morsi, on July 3, suspended the constitution and dissolved the parliament.
Hundreds of people have died in clashes across Egypt since August 14, when the interim Egyptian government launched a brutal crackdown on thousands of peaceful protesters demanding the reinstatement of deposed president.
The violence has sparked an outrage across the globe and triggered demonstrations in several countries. Meanwhile, international bodies have called for an end to the use of lethal force against Egyptian protesters and called for independent investigations into the killings.