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Summary: 29 January 2011, Brussels - Statement by Herman VAN ROMPUY, President of the European Council, on the situation in Egypt
Since the events in Tunisia, I am following with great attention the developments in the region. I would like to express my deepest sympathy and condolences to the families and friends of the victims of violence.
I am deeply troubled by the spiral of violence leading to a situation which makes dialogue even more difficult. The respect for fundamental human rights, such as the freedom of expression, the right to communicate, and the right of free assembly, as well as social inclusion are constituent elements of democracy which the Egyptian people, and in particular the young, are striving for.
History has shown that dialogue can also lead to change if a conducive environment is built, without the use of force or a military crackdown.
I therefore call for the cessation of violence to stop bloodshed, the release of all those arrested or under house arrest for political reasons, including political figures, and to set the necessary reform process in motion. I sincerely hope that the promises of openness by President Moubarak will translate into concrete action.