|EU calls for end to Egypt
BRUSSELS (AFP) - European
Union head Herman Van Rompuy called yesterday for an
end to violence and bloodshed in Egypt, where
demonstrations against President Hosni Mubarak have
left more than 30 dead since Tuesday.
“I am deeply troubled by the spiral of violence
leading to a situation which makes dialogue even
more difficult,” the EU president said in a
“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 Mubarak will translate into concrete
Egypt’s capital resembles a battlefield, with
burned-out cars, streets littered with rubble and
clouds of thick dark smoke billowing above the seat
of government as protesters demand that President
Hosni Mubarak step down.
“Allahu Akbar! (God is greatest)” and “The people
want the president out” were some of the slogans
chanted by thousands of demonstrators gathered
yesterday on Tahrir square in downtown Cairo.
“Mubarak, go!” they cried.
The anti-regime demonstrators defied an early
morning military curfew and resumed demands for
Mubarak to step down, rejecting his promise to sack
the government and carry out reforms as too little,
“The president must go. It is the only thing we
want. Mubarak must simply step down. He’s been there
for 30 years. It’s enough!” said Hassan, a
“Egypt should be an industrial and agricultural
power but we are lagging behind,” he added. “It’s
“We will stay on the streets as long as he doesn’t
leave power,” shouted Ali Barra, a young medical
student. “It could take one year or two years but we
(Earlier report in Nation 2)