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Northern Africa: The bloodshed must stop immediately. Ioannis Kasoulides MEP and José Salafranca MEP


07 Jul 2011


Med & South

On Thursday, the European Parliament adopted a Resolution calling on the people of the countries of the Arab World to persist in the ongoing process of transformation towards modern, pluralist democracies where fundamental civic and human rights are respected. The Resolution was authored by Ioannis Kasoulides MEP, Vice-Chairman of the EPP Group responsible for external relations, and José Salafranca MEP, EPP Group Coordinator in the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament.


"We must, again, strongly condemn the disproportionate use of force by the regimes against peaceful demonstrators", said Ioannis Kasoulides after the vote. "We deplore the large number of persons killed and wounded, and I wish to extend my condolences to the families of the victims. The immediate end to the bloodshed and the release of the people arrested is a prerequisite for the continuation of the transition process."


"The EPP Group calls on the political leaderships of the Arab countries to honour their commitments by engaging without delay in an open and constructive political dialogue, involving all democratic political parties and movements and representatives of civil society", said José Salafranca. "The aim must be to pave the way for genuine democracy and the implementation of institutional, political, economic and social reforms, which are essential for long-term stability and development in these countries and in the region as a whole."


The two MEPs representing the Parliament's largest and most influential political group also stressed the importance of religious freedom and freedom of thought:


"The protection of the various religious communities in Syria, including the large number of Iraqi refugees that have arrived in the country, must be guaranteed. Freedom of thought, conscience and religion are inalienable human rights which must be guaranteed by the authorities. We urge the authorities to provide reliable and efficient protection for all religious groups present in these countries and to ensure the personal safety and physical integrity of members of all religious communities", said Mr Salafranca.


On the recent events in various countries of the region, Mr Kasoulides said: "The EPP Group welcomes the Council's decision to impose restrictive measures on Syria and persons responsible for the violent repression against the civilian population. We strongly condemn the recent armed attacks in Yemen, including the attack of 3 June 2011 on the Presidential compound. We welcome the lifting of the 'state of national safety' in Bahrain as well as the call made by King Hamad Bin Isa al-Khalifa for a national dialogue. We also support the democratic transition process in Egypt and Tunisia, as the first examples of the current process of democratisation and new wave of participation by citizens, and notably youth, in the Arab World. The EPP Group further wishes to state its continued support for the commitment of the international community to protect civilians in Libya, including through the intensification of pressure on the Libyan regime, and to support the building of a democratic Libyan state. We repeat that Colonel Gaddafi must relinquish power immediately."


For further information:

Ioannis KASOULIDES MEP, Tel: +32-2-2845155

José Ignacio SALAFRANCA SÁNCHEZ-NEYRA MEP, Tel: +32-2-2845603

Peter Adler, EPP Group Press and Communications Service, Tel: +32-474-203005


Notes to Editors:

The EPP Group is by far the largest political group in the European Parliament with 264 Members.


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