Vice President Ashton response to escalating situation in Egypt
Answer to Parliamentary questions 22 April 2013 E-004467-13
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Roger Helmer (EFD)
Is the Commission aware of the escalating situation in Egypt as regards religious persecution? This is on the increase and becoming more vicious, as demonstrated by recent clashes in which six Coptic Christians and one Muslim are estimated to have died.
Does the Commission propose to take any action to help re-establish the peaceful co-existence of different religious groups in the area?Answer given by High Representative/Vice President Ashtonon behalf of the Commission(20.6.2013)
The Commission is aware of the escalating situation in Egypt concerning religious minorities, as the recent clashes in which six Copts and one Muslim died. The HR/VP issued a statement on 7 April while travelling to the region, urging for restraint and for the security forces to control the situation. The EU Delegation closely monitors the situation and its follow-up.
Freedom of religion or belief and the rights of minorities are high priorities under the EU's human rights policy.
The EU is using the full range of its diplomatic and cooperation instruments to address freedom of religion or belief and to ensure minorities in Egypt are protected against such acts of violence.
In this respect, the EU Special Representative for Human Rights plays an active role in support of human rights in Egypt. He raised the issue during his visit to Egypt in mid-March 2013.
The basis for the EU engagement in Egypt is the renewed EU Neighbourhood Policy adopted in 2011 according to which the EU engagement – technically as well as financially - is strictly linked to the respect of fundamental rights and values according to the 'more-for-more' principle.