Hosni Mubarak’s power structure in Egypt has been warned by the European Union’s leaders at their summit in Brussels against any outbreak of violence during a transition to democracy.
British Prime Minister David Cameron pointed the finger.
“If we see on the streets of Cairo today state-sponsored violence, or the hiring of thugs to beat up protesters, then Egypt and its regime would lose any remaining credibility or support it has in the eyes of the watching world, including Britain.”
Some critics say the fight against terrorism has meant some regimes of suspect legitimacy have enjoyed EU support nonetheless, and that Europe’s stern tone has been late in coming.
Analysts have said the EU policy of expecting economic development to drive democratic reform has been discredited.
In the bloc’s defence, EU diplomats cited a need to refrain from interfering in matters of national sovereignty.