Five European leaders urge "orderly transition" in Egypt

14:39, February 04, 2011      

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The leaders of France, Germany, Britain, Italy and Spain jointly issued a joint statement Thursday, calling for a "rapid and orderly transition" in Egypt.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero expressed their "extreme" concern over the situation in Egypt in the statement.

"Egyptians should be able to exercise freely their right to demonstrate peacefully and enjoy the protection of security forces," they said, adding that "attacks against journalists are totally unacceptable."

Pointing out "a rapid and orderly transition to a broader representation in government" as the only way to solve Egypt's crisis, the five European leaders said "that transition process must start now."

Meanwhile, they voiced disapproval against any party that promoted violence. Violence "will only worsen the political crisis in Egypt," they said.

The statement came after rounds of gunshots were heard in Cairo's Tahrir Square before dawn Thursday, with unconfirmed reports saying at least three people among the crowds of protestors were killed.

Sustained bursts of automatic weapons fire and powerful single shots rattled into the square starting at around 4 a.m. and continued for more than two hours.

Throughout Wednesday, supporters of Mubarak charged into the square on horses and camels, and clashed with protestors trying to topple the Egyptian leader of 30 years. Three people died in that earlier violence and 600 were injured.

Source: Xinhua
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