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Ashton meets president, opposition figures

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The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton says she is concerned about sectarian violence in Egypt

A handout picture released by the European Union (EU) press office shows Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi (R) meeting with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton in Cairo on April 7, 2013 (AFP Photo)

A handout picture released by the European Union (EU) press office shows Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi (R) meeting with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton in Cairo on April 7, 2013
(AFP Photo)

The European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton met with President Mohamed Morsi on Sunday as part of a series of talks with Egyptian officials and leading opposition figures. Ashton’s office said she spoke to several leading figures regarding the current political and economic situation, but could not give details of the meetings.

Ashton did however express concern “about the violent incidents at the Abasseya Coptic Cathedral in Cairo,” adding that upon hearing the news she contacted Morsi “strongly urging restraint and for security forces to control the situation”.

According to a press release from the office of Amr Moussa, a leading opposition figure, Ashton and Moussa spoke for over an hour on Sunday over the European Union’s support of the Egyptian economy. Moussa requested the establishment of an international conference on the economy and stressed the importance of investments.

Moussa highlighted in the statement that the economic collapse of the country would have an enormous negative effect on the region and investments should be considered as separate from the government and their policies.

Ashton also spoke to Moussa about recent political developments, the National Salvation Front and the region, although no further information was given.

In her meeting with President Morsi, Ashton spoke about ways in which Egypt could move on from the current crisis. Ashton and Morsi spoke at length about the pending International Monetary Fund loan, without which western countries will not approve significant aid packages, saying it is a key issue for the international community and a necessity for a solution to the current situation.

Ashton also met with Mohamed ElBaradei, leader of the Al-Dostour Party, and the National Salvation Front (NSF). The two also discussed the current crisis and ways in which Egypt can progress. Similar meetings were also held with other NSF members.

At the time of writing Ashton’s office had yet to publish a statement regarding her meetings in Egypt and could not provide any information regarding her visit.

About the author

Luiz Sanchez

Luiz Sanchez

Journalist

Luiz is a Brazilian journalist in Cairo @luizdaVeiga


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