EU urges Egyptian govn't to ensure safety of demonstrators

14:40, February 04, 2011      

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The European Union foreign policy chief Thursday urged the Egyptian government to take steps to protect demonstrators and citizens.

"I urge the Egyptian authorities to immediately take the necessary measures to ensure that the law enforcement authorities protect the demonstrators and their right to assembly freely," said EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton.

"The government is accountable for the welfare and safety of its people," she said, adding that people responsible for the loss of life and injuries should be brought to justice.

In order to reestablish order and ensure safety in the country, she urged the Egyptian government to respond swiftly to the democratic aspirations of its people.

"I call on the Egyptian authorities to embark now on a meaningful and real transition towards genuine democratic reform, paving the way for free and fair elections," she said.

Sporadic gunshots continued for about two hours in Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo early Thursday and unconfirmed reports said at least five people were killed and 15 others wounded.

Clashes between supporters of President Hosni Mubarak and anti-government protestors have killed at least three people and wounded some 600 hundred on Wednesday.

Mubarak announced Tuesday that he would not seek re-election for the post he has held since 1981, but protesters said they wanted the president to step down before Friday and planned a massive protest on the day.

Source: Xinhua
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