By Nourhan Dakroury
The European Commission (EC) President José Manuel Barroso together with the European Council President Herman Van Rompuy released a statement on Sunday calling for a national dialogue that should include all political factions.
“We regret deeply that international efforts and proposals for building bridges and establishing an inclusive political process, to which the EU contributed actively, were set aside and a course of confrontation was instead pursued,” the statement read.
The statement said that the path the country is going into right now will not succeed and that violence should end, adding that human rights should be respected and political prisoners should be released.
“While all should exert maximum restraint, we underline the particular responsibility of the interim authorities and of the army in bringing clashes to a halt. The violence and the killings of these last days cannot be justified or condoned,” the statement added.
The statement highlighted its efforts in getting the political leaders and factions that had emerged in Egypt to work together towards achieving democracy, adding: “The calls for democracy and fundamental freedoms from the Egyptian population cannot be disregarded, much less washed away in blood.”
The statement concluded that the EU will keep promoting dialogue and the end of violence, adding: “together with its Member States, the EU will urgently review in the coming days its relations with Egypt and adopt measures aimed at pursuing these goals.”
The African Union (AU) also condemned violence in Egypt and called on all political factions, including the interim government and the Muslim Brotherhood, to exercise restraint, and pushed for national reconciliation.
In a press release issued by the AU Peace and Security Council on Friday, the council announced that the AU Commission, in charge of the administrative and executive work of the AU, is waiting on a response from Egyptian authorities about their approval for a new visit by the High-Level Panel for Egypt, planning the visit for next week.
The panel visited Cairo from 27 July to 4 August on a “fact-finding trip”, where they met with interim president Adly Mansour, Defence Minister Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi, the Anti-Coup Alliance and former president Mohamed Morsi.
The panel, which held its inaugural meeting on 16 July, held a meeting starting on 12 August until 14 August to assess the outcomes of its visit.
The council stressed the importance that the panel keep working closely with the Arab League to help Egypt facilitate a transition towards democracy.