Ashton: Egypt marred by mistrust, polarisation
EU rep Catherine Ashton says she found potential for sustainable democracy in Egypt during her recent visit. (AFP/File)
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The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton has expressed deep concern over violent incidents taking place in Egypt.
In a statement on Wednesday, Ashton said, “I was deeply concerned by last weekend’s violent clashes in Egypt and yesterday’s terror attacks in Sinai and Ismailiya. I extend my condolences to the victims and their families.”
“The clashes show there is clearly a great deal of polarisation and mistrust. This can only be overcome if all sides commit to a political process, defined and agreed by Egyptians themselves, that leads to deep and sustainable democracy,” the statement added.
“During my visit last week, I saw some potential for this to happen. The European Union will continue to support the Egyptian people in this process," Ashton added.
Ashton’s visit to Cairo was an effort to encourage dialogue between Egyptian authorities and the Muslim Brotherhood.
While in Egypt, Ashton met Interim President Adly Mansour, Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Prime Minister Hazem al-Beblawy, Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy, Amr Moussa (chairman of the Committee of 50), Al-Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed al-Tayeb, Pope Tawadros II as well as members from the pro-Morsi Alliance to Support Legitimacy.
An EU source said the main dilemma facing Ashton is convincing the Brotherhood to accept the roadmap.