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Verhofstadt critical of weak statements by EU leaders on Egypt


01 Feb 2011


Global Europe

As the situation on the streets of Egyptian cities continues to develop rapidly, western diplomatic services and European leaders are struggling to find a position. Guy Verhofstadt, leader of the Liberal group in the European Parliament insists that Parliament request the EU High Representative to address the latest developments in her intervention this week in Parliament.

"The EU needs to keep up with events. The situation on the ground in Egypt is dramatic and evolving rapidly. The European Union must urgently formulate a coherent message that lays out concrete steps to encourage a transition to pluralist democracy and respect for fundamental freedoms in the country. It is no good sitting on the fence and waiting to see whether the regime will prevail over the will of the people. However this is exactly what European leaders are doing right now."

"The Egyptian people are clearly desperate for change and for freedom. Mohamed ElBaradei is eloquently and peacefully setting out the case for a comprehensive change and reform in Egypt's political institutions. The EU must step up, not only to insist on non-violence against peaceful protesters but to seize this opportunity for major democratic reforms in Egypt and elsewhere."

"Parliament is due to discuss, on Wednesday, developments in Tunisia. We must use the opportunity to address the Egyptian crisis too."

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