Catherine Ashton visits Egypt

Catherine Ashton meets Egypt's interim President Adly Mansour - © EU Delegation in Egypt, Photo by Pedro CostaCatherine Ashton meets Egypt's interim President Adly Mansour - © EU Delegation in Egypt, Photo by Pedro Costa

Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice President of the Commission, travelled to Egypt on Wednesday, 17th of July. During her visit she held talks with the acting President, vice-President, Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and the Minister of Defence. She also met with young people from Tamarod and the representatives of the Freedom and Justice Party.

At a press conference at the end of her visit she said: "…we have been strongly supportive of the people of this great country, we want to see Egypt move forward in its democratic future and we want to see that happen swiftly.  In all of my visits to Egypt we have been very clear with everyone about the importance of an inclusive process and a political plan, so that the country can move forward. What we want to do is to support the people of Egypt. We are a long-term partner and friend. Egypt is a very strong and very important country, not only in the region, but in the world. It has an incredible history and amazing future.

The question now is how we – those of us who have visited this country many times and my team based here - can help and support that future. This country is unique and its future and its direction will be determined by the people. We wish it enormous success"

On the 14th of July 2013 Catherine Ashton also issued a declaration on behalf of the European Union, on the situation in Egypt calling for "a broad-based and substantial dialogue, inclusive of all those political forces committed to democratic principles." The EU urged "the interim authorities to make every effort so that politically motivated arrests and other forms of harassments do not take place. All political detainees must be released, and criminal cases reviewed swiftly in a transparent manner.

Two and a half years ago the Egyptian people demanded freedom, dignity, and social justice. The aspirations for a better Egypt are as strong and urgent as ever. It is vital for their own country and the region that all sides rise above self-interest and work towards an open, democratic and reforming Egypt"

For more information:
Audio video coverage of the visit
Remarks by High Representative Catherine Ashton at the end of her visit to Egypt
Declaration by the High Representative Catherine Ashton, on behalf of the European Union, on the situation in Egypt