By Mahitab Assran
Catherine Ashton “deeply deplored” the loss of lives during Friday’s protests and clashes, and expressed concerns about the situation in Egypt in a statement issued on Saturday.
The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy for the European Union urged all political players in Egypt to refrain from violence, adding: “confrontation is not a solution” and “hate speeches” will not help the current situation.
The statement highlighted that an “all inclusive reconciliation and dialogue are paramount to solving the current situation,” and called for a quick democratic transition.
The EU encouraged “all political groups” to find a peaceful solution in order to achieve “a stable, prosperous and democratic Egypt,” and committed itself to “stand by the Egyptian people and support their democratic aspirations.”
Ashton concluded by insisting on the release of all political prisoners, specifically ousted president Mohamed Morsi and his close advisors , adding that new charges and arrests are not what “Egypt needs now”.