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Crowe calls for EU arms embargo against Egyptian military regime

20 August, 2013 - by Seán Crowe TD


Sinn Féin’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Seán Crowe TD, has called on Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore to use the meeting of Foreign Affairs Ministers, to seek an EU wide arms embargo against the Egyptian military regime, until democracy is restored in the country.

Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s meeting of EU Foreign Ministers Deputy Seán Crowe said that the Táinaiste and the Irish Embassy in Cairo must also do all they can to assist four Irish citizens being held by the Egyptian authorities.

Deputy Crowe said:

“The Irish government took the correct position in relation to the conflict in Syria by backing an EU wide arms embargo for the country. Regrettably France and Britain had other ideas and interests.

“Similarly there is no point in standing on the side-lines and condemning individual actions in Egypt, unless you are prepared to act to bring an end to the violence, and help establish the enabling conditions to restore democracy in Egypt.

“Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Eamon Gilmore, must use the opportunity of tomorrow’s meeting of EU Foreign Ministers to demand an EU wide arms embargo against the Egyptian military regime, until democracy is restored in Egypt.

“EU member states collectively sell approximately €300 million of weapons to Egypt every year. If EU leaders continue to allow these weapons to be sent to Egypt, they are facilitating and condoning authoritarianism and the brutal murder of political activists and civilians.

“In fact, I would encourage other countries around the world that are currently supporting the military regime to introduce a similar embargo.

“Today we have also heard that an Irish diplomatic envoy has been given access to and met with the four Irish citizens being held by the Egyptian authorities.

“The Tánaiste should summons the Egyptian Ambassador to Ireland and demand continued and regular diplomatic access to these Irish citizens.

“There is understandably widespread concern in Ireland for these citizens as the turmoil in Egypt continues.

“It is vitally important that Irish diplomats in Cairo can monitor where the four members of the Halawa family are being held, the conditions they are subject to, if they are safe and well, and when they are due for release from military custody.”

ENDS

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