EU leaders hopeful for Egyptian dialogue

Aug. 23, 2013 at 12:45 PM

PARIS, Aug. 23 (UPI) -- The door is open for political dialogue in Egypt, with the aim of restoring democratic order in the country, the British foreign secretary said.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague met in Paris with his French counterpart, Laurent Fabius, to discuss ongoing political violence in Egypt.

He said both leaders agreed on a "good position" in coordination with their colleagues in the European Union.

"That is a position that supports democratic institutions in Egypt rather than individuals or parties and that is why we've condemned disproportionate violence from security forces," he said in a statement Thursday.

Catherine Ashton -- EU foreign affairs and security policy representative -- said this week a suspension was placed on export licenses for "equipment used for internal repression" in Egypt. The U.S. government said it was reviewing some aid, but stressed it was protecting its national security interests in the region.

Several parties to the crisis have offered various solutions to the political stalemate that followed the July 3 military ouster of President Mohamed Morsi.

The Muslim Brotherhood, his political supporters, have remained mute on the initiatives, insisting the overthrow was a military coup.

"We support political dialogue in Egypt and we left the door open for European countries and the European Union to support that dialogue in the future," Hague said.

The U.S. Embassy in Cairo warned of violence Friday in response to protests planned by Morsi supporters. Hundreds of Egyptians have died as a result of fighting between his backers and government forces.

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