Economy

EU asks Mubarak to meet Egyptians’ demands

PTI Washington | Updated on February 11, 2011 Published on February 11, 2011

Noting that the Egyptian President, Mr Hosni Mubarak, has not yet opened the way to faster and deeper reforms, the European Union has asked his regime to meet the demands and expectations of his people.

“The demands and expectations of the Egyptian people must be met. It is for them to judge whether the steps announced by President Mubarak fulfil their expectations and aspirations,” said Ms Catherine Ashton, 27-nation European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

Soon after Mr Mubarak’s speech in which he refused to step down from his post under any “foreign pressure”, she said: “President Mubarak has not yet opened the way to faster and deeper reforms. We will pay close attention to the response by the Egyptian people in the coming hours and days.”

Ms Ashton said the EU salutes the courage of the Egyptian people who have pursued their campaign for democratic change peacefully and with dignity. Violence can never be accepted, she said.

“As I have always said, peaceful but real and lasting transformation delivering deep democracy is what is now required. Full respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms is essential. All abuses must be investigated,” she said.

Ms Ashton urged the Egyptian authorities and the army to protect the peaceful demonstrators and act with calm and restraint.

“An orderly and irreversible transition towards democracy and free and fair elections is the shared objective of both the EU and the Egyptian people. The lifting of the state of emergency is a step forward and must be implemented as soon as possible,” she said.

Noting that the future of Egypt lies firmly in the hands of the Egyptian people, she said the European Union stands ready to help in any way it can.

“I will visit Egypt as soon as possible. I will continue to engage with the Egyptian authorities to convey the need for an orderly, meaningful and lasting democratic transition. The time for change is now,” Ms Ashton said.

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Published on February 11, 2011
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