Dear Mr Russo,
We acknowledge receipt of your letter to Mr Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, and thank you on his behalf.
Unfortunately, Mr. Van Rompuy is not able to reply personally to all the letters that he receives but we would like to assure you that your letter has been brought to his attention.
Please we would like to inform you that an extraordinary Council meeting has been organised on 21 August 2013. EU foreign ministers adopted conclusions relating to the recent developments in Egypt:
Ministers expressed their concern over the recent events and condemned in the clearest possible terms all acts of violence. The EU believes that the recent operations of the Egyptian security forces have been disproportionate and have resulted in an unacceptable large number of deaths and injuries. The Council also strongly condemned acts of terrorism, such as the murder of policemen in the Sinai.
“We call on all sides to stop the cycle of violence. We want all political parties to engage in a real and inclusive dialogue in order to restore the democratic process. Political groups should not be excluded, as long as they renounce violence and respect democratic principles. We stand ready to support Egypt in this process”, said the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton.
Keeping in mind the needs of the Egyptian people, the Council decided to continue providing financial assistance in the socio-economic sector and to civil society. However, the EU will monitor the situation and readjust its cooperation accordingly, and the Council asked the EU High Representative to review the issue of EU assistance to Egypt.
The member states also agreed to suspend export licences to Egypt for any equipment which might be used for internal repression, to reassess export licences for equipment covered by Common Position 2008/944/CFSP, and to review their security assistance with Egypt.
EU supports the Egyptian people
The European Union has a long and close relationship with the Egyptian people and stands by them in their ongoing search for democracy, respect for human rights, and security. Since the 25 January 2011 uprising, the EU has consistently supported the Egyptian population’s legitimate request for their civil, political and socio-economic rights, calling for a peaceful and inclusive transition.
In recent weeks, the EU has increased its efforts to promote dialogue and a peaceful solution to the Egyptian crisis through its constant engagement with all parties, including during the most recent visits by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and through the work of EU Special Representative Bernardino Leon.
Egypt – key partner
Egypt is the EU’s key partner in a strategically important region. EU-Egypt relations are bound by the Association Agreement, which came into force in 2004. Cooperation focuses on democratic and social reform, economic modernisation, migration issues and trade.
In the 2007-2013 financial period, the EU has made more than €1 billion available to Egypt, but due to the ongoing instability in the country and non-compliance with the agreed conditions, the amounts disbursed in ongoing programmes have decreased.
Similarly, the Egyptian authorities are currently unable to fulfil many conditions relating to the additional €5 billion of long-term assistance offered by the EU and associated financial institutions (EIB and EBRD) in November 2012.
For further information , please find here below the link the press release:
Disclaimer “The information provided has been prepared by the Public Information Service of the General Secretariat of the Council of the EU and may not be regarded as constituting an official position of the Council.”