EU foreign ministers to discuss Egypt crisis

Written by: IANS
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European Union
Brussels, Aug 20: The foreign ministers of the 28-member European Union (EU) will hold emergency talks on Wednesday to review the bloc's relations with Egypt, an official said on Monday.

A Foreign Affairs Council will be held on Wednesday and the EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton will present a document for this meeting, reported Xinhua, citing Bernardino Leon, EU special representative for the Southern Mediterranean.

Leon said that the EU is insisting on political solutions to the Egypt crisis and is convinced that "the political solutions are possible".

In a joint statement issued earlier, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said that the EU would remain firmly engaged in efforts to promote an end to violence, resumption of political dialogue and return to a democratic process.

Last November, the EU promised Egypt a total of 5 billion euros (about $6.7 billion) in grants and loans for a series of initiatives in that country.

According to EU diplomats, some EU members suggested that the bloc should scale back the financial aid, while some were worrying that the restrictive measures may have a deeper impact on the population than on the government.

Leon said that all proposals would be discussed at Wednesday's meeting.


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