Summary: 3 February 2011, Brussels - Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the Commission, made today the following statement on the situation in Egypt:
“We have passed a strong message to the Egyptian authorities. I have repeatedly expressed my great concern over the reports that peaceful demonstrators have been violently attacked by armed individuals. I wish to extend my condolences to the friends and families of those who have been killed or hurt during the last number of days.
I urge the Egyptian authorities to immediately take the necessary measures to ensure that the law enforcement authorities protect the demonstrators and their right to assembly freely. I have made clear that it is the responsibility of the army and law enforcement to protect its citizens. The Government is accountable for the welfare and safety of its people. Those responsible for the loss of life and injuries caused should be held accountable for their actions and brought to justice. The intimidation and aggression directed at journalists is also totally unacceptable.
Urgent, concrete and decisive measures are now needed to meet the democratic aspirations of the Egyptian people. I call on the Egyptian authorities to embark now on a meaningful and real transition towards genuine democratic reform, paving the way for free and fair elections.”