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Joint Statement by EU High Representative Ashton and US Secretary of State Kerry on Egypt

By European Union
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BRUSSELS, Kingdom of Belgium, August 8, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- In the spirit of supporting Egypt's democratic transition, two senior representatives of the

European Union and the United States, Special Representative for the Southern Mediterranean Bernardino Leon and Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns, have been working together intensively over the past week to urge the government and opposition parties to begin a process of genuine reconciliation, and move ahead inclusively to consider amendments to the Constitution and prepare as quickly as possible for Parliamentary and Presidential elections. They have cooperated closely in this effort with visiting senior representatives from the UAE and Qatar.

Mindful of the limits of our role, but deeply concerned about Egypt's future and what is at stake at this critical time, we have suggested a number of practical ideas to calm current tensions and help Egyptians build a bridge toward a real political dialogue. These have included a series of modest confidence building measures, including public statements condemning violence and supporting peaceful resolution of political differences; a commitment to meaningful negotiations, requiring compromises and broad political participation; an end to incitement in public statements and the media; steps to scale down and ease tensions surrounding the ongoing demonstrations at Raba'a alAdawiya and Nahda Squares; and immediately beginning the process of releasing detained political figures. These ideas remain available for the parties even now, and our engagement at all levels continues on a daily basis.