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EU to restrict weapon export to Egypt
The European Union (EU) on Wednesday made a decision to restrict the weapon export to Egypt, announced the bloc's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton following an extraordinary Foreign Affair Council in Brussels.
"Member states have agreed to suspend export licenses to Egypt of any equipment could be used to internal repression and to reassess the export licenses covered by the EU common position," said an EU conclusion adopted by the 28-member bloc's foreign ministers.
Before the meeting, some EU members had requested the bloc to cut off its financial assistance to Egypt, which amounts to 5 billion euros (6.7 billion U.S. dollars). But the Council failed to reach an agreement on this issue, worrying it will hunt the fragile economic situation and the people in Egypt.
According to the conclusion, the Council tasked Ashton, in cooperation with the European Commission, to review the issue of EU assistance to Egypt under the European Neighborhood Policy and the Association Agreement on the basis of Egypt's commitment to the principles that underpin them.
"The Council expressed its concern over the economic situation in the country and the negative impact on the most vulnerable groups of Egyptian society," said the conclusion.
"Therefore, assistance in the socio-economic sector and to civil society will continue. The EU will monitor the situation in Egypt closely and readjust its cooperation accordingly," it said.
In the conclusion, the EU called on all Egyptians to halt the cycle of violence and refrain from actions that would incite further violence, and urged all political parties to engage in a real and inclusive dialogue in order to restore a democratic process responding to the legitimate requests and aspirations of the Egyptian people.
[Source: Xinhua, Brussels, 21Aug13]
Crisis in Egypt
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