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Diplomats discuss EU response to Egypt bloodshed

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Diplomats discuss EU response to Egypt bloodshed


Senior European Union diplomats have been meeting to discuss the violence in Egypt and how best the EU should respond.

A final decision will be made on Wednesday when EU foreign ministers will say whether or not they plan to cut economic ties with Egypt’s military-backed rulers.

The diplomats were reluctant to say which way the decision would go. Bernardino Leon, the European Union’s special representative for the Southern Mediterranean said: “We are convinced that a political solution is possible and we are going to insist, and whatever decision we will take on wednesday, the same as the discussion we had today has been in view of a political solution”.

At stake would be a five billion euro package of grants and loans as well as various trade incentives.

Several EU governments have said in recent days that Europe should scale back its financial aid to Cairo, but others argue it would have too deep an impact on the population.

In the US, several senators, influenced by Republican John McCain, have called on Washington to cut it’s annual one million euros in aid to the Egyptian military.

Meanwhile Saudi Arabia has said it will fund the Egyptian military if the west cancels any aid.

Humanitarian groups around the world have held protests to call for an end to the bloodshed.

In Berlin, Amnesty International leaders met to voice their concerns about the violations of basic human rights in Egypt and called on the military to stop using excessive force against its people.

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