Europe Leaders Call for faster transition in Egypt

Thursday, February 3, 2011

LONDON - European leaders have called on the Egyptian leadership to effect a faster transition of power to ensure stability in that country.

British Prime Minister David Cameron on Wednesday issued a veiled warning to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to halt the involvement of Egyptian security forces in the turmoil.

After meeting with Ban Ki Moon, the United Nations secretary general, Cameron told reporters outside 10 Downing Street. “We’ve been watching the events in Cairo with grave concern and completely condemn the violence that’s taking place.”

“And, if it turns out that the regime in any way has been sponsoring and tolerating this violence, that would be completely and utterly unacceptable. These are despicable scenes that we are seeing, and they should not be repeated,” he added.

Britain and the United States have been closely coordinating their pronouncements on the Egyptian upheaval, with frequent telephone calls between Cameron and President Obama and between Britain’s foreign secretary, William Hague, and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

A spokesman for President Nicolas Sarkozy said in Paris that Sarkozy wished to see a concrete transition process start without delay.

He also said that the French president has called on the Egyptian authorities to do everything to ensure that this crucial process takes place without violence.

In Germany, according to the New York Times, Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said: “People want democratic change and they want it now. It must be a change toward democracy. Not a change that begins someday, but one which begins now.”

The European Union’s chief foreign policy official, Catherine Ashton, said: “The E.U. is calling for an orderly transition through a broad-based government, leading to a genuine process of substantial democratic reform with full respect of the rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms.”

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said: ” The people expect Mubarak to take a much different step,” and called on him to set an accelerated timetable for turning over power.

Erdogan said. “I think this process should start, and its road map and schedule should be announced. I don’t think it is possible to satisfy the people without a schedule. It is very important to get over this period with a temporary administration.”

Swedish Foreign Minister, Carl Bildt, who was in Brussels Wednesday for conferences with other European diplomats, said: “The Mubarak era in Egyptian politics is over. I now hope that real transition to a democratic, pluralistic, and stable Egypt can begin.” (ANI)

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