Daily Israel Report

EU to 'Urgently Review' Ties with Egypt

As death toll continues to mount, the European Union warns of 'unpredictable consequences.'
By Ari Soffer
First Publish: 8/18/2013, 1:22 PM

Egyptian riot police prepare to crack down on pro-Morsi demonstrators
Egyptian riot police prepare to crack down on pro-Morsi demonstrators
Reuters

The European Union will urgently review its relationship with Egypt, following what it views as excessive state violence against supporters of ousted president Mohammed Morsi.

A statement issued by The Presidents of the European Commission and the European Council, Jose Manuel Barroso and Herman Van Rompuy, declared that "The calls for democracy and fundamental freedoms from the Egyptian population cannot be disregarded, much less washed away in blood."

The statement continued: 

"In co-operation with its international and regional partners, the EU will remain firmly engaged in efforts to promote an end to violence, resumption of political dialogue and return to a democratic process.

"To this effect, 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."

They continued by calling for "maximum restraint" and for the release of "political prisoners."

The warning comes just 24 hours before senior EU diplomats hold emergency talks on Egypt in Brussels, and as the death toll in Egypt continues to mount, reportedly reaching at least 800 dead, thousands wounded and over one thousand arrested.

It will not do much to assuage fears by Egyptians opposed to the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood of a subtle western bias towards Islamist forces in the country.

Only yesterday, the Coptic Christian church slammed what it said were "media fallacies that are prevalent in Western countries" by playing down violence by the Muslim Brotherhood in general, and against Christians in particular.