The European Parliament strongly condemns the latest state crackdown on peaceful anti-government protests, as well as the ongoing restrictions on fundamental rights in the country. Egyptian authorities have in the past weeks arbitrarily arrested over 4300 people who have been protesting against systemic corruption, repression and austerity measures, and have demanded the resignation of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
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“The European Union expresses its deepest condolences to the victims and their families and wishes a prompt recovery to those wounded in this act of terror”, the European External Action Service spokesperson said, reacting upon a car bomb explosion in Cairo on August 4, which has left at least 20 people dead, and many injured.
“The European Union stands side by side with Egypt in its efforts to defeat terrorism in the country”.
An explosion in Cairo was terrorist-related, Egypt‘s president Al Sisi said.
“I extend my deepest condolences to the Egyptian people and the families of the martyrs killed in the cowardly terrorist incident in the vicinity of the Kasr al-Aini area yesterday evening,” he wrote in his official social media account, paying tribute to victims.
Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland Pekka Haavisto will visit Sudan and several countries of the Red Sea and broader region over the course of the next weeks to discuss the situation in Sudan. He has received a mandate from the EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini to reach out, on behalf of the European Union, on both the situation in the country and on how the international community can accompany Sudan on its transition path.
During his visits, Minister Haavisto will convey the European Union’s position on Sudan as agreed by the Foreign Affairs Council of 17 June to the different authorities and stakeholders and will then report to the 28 Member States in the Foreign Affairs Council upon his return.
The Minister’s visit to Sudan as well as Ethiopia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates follows the recent announcement of an agreement between the Transitional Military Council and the Forces for Freedom and Change on a civilian-led transition in Sudan.
“The European Union remains fully engaged on the situation in Sudan, standing by the Sudanese parties who reached an agreement as well as calling on regional and international actors to play a constructive role in this context. Thanks to his experience in the region, in particular in Sudan with both the EU and the UN, Minister Haavisto will explore how the EU can best support Sudan in its path towards democracy, respect for human rights and stability,” said Federica Mogherini.
“This visit comes at an important juncture; an agreement has been reached between the Transitional Military Council and the Forces for Freedom and Change in Sudan. I wish to sincerely thank the African Union/Ethiopian mediation for their efforts. I will convey EU’s strong messages of support and encourage both sides to continue negotiations in order to solve the still outstanding issues and allow for a swift transfer of power to a civilian government. It is crucial to quickly restore peace, guarantee prosperity, economic recovery, security, democracy and respect of human rights,” said Pekka Haavisto.
On July, 10 Minister Haavisto will be in Addis Abeba meeting Ethiopian authorities as well as the key figures of the African Union. On 11 July, the Minister will meet both the Transitional Military Council and the Forces for Freedom and Change as well as other Sudanese interlocutors. On 16-18 July, Minister Haavisto will visit Egypt, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.
Minister Haavisto has extensive knowledge on Sudan having been the EU Special Representative for Sudan and Darfur in 2005-2007 as well as the Special Advisor for the UN Assistant Secretary-General in Darfur Peace Process in 2007.
Egypt authorities accuse Hasm group ( Arabic: حسم), which emerged in 2016, deriving from the of the banned Muslim Brotherhood. The oldest Islamist movement of Egypt denies the allegations and insists it seeks change through peaceful means only.
The Interior ministry said in a statement announced by state TV channels that its national security forces had information that leaders of the armed Hasm group were planning “to carry out a series of attacks during the coming period to trigger chaos in the country“.
The statement did not indicate whether the suspected fighters were connected to Sunday’s #Giza attack, but informed the Egyptian forces killed them during raids. There were no further details on the operation, but a clarification on weapons and explosives found at the site.
An explosion targeting a bus with tourists, sightseeing in Giza has injured at least 14 people near the Grand Egyptian Museum, next to the pyramids.
A device went off close to the Giza Grand Museum fence as the bus was passing.
It is not yet known who was behind the bombing but Islamist militants have attacked tourists in Egypt in the past.
According to SkyNews there was a group of South African tourists and local guides, some of them are injured.
In December, three tourists from Vietnam and a local tour guide were killed after a roadside bomb hit their bus.
Russia’s top diplomat Sergey Lavrov underlined that the cause of the Libyan crisis today lies in NATO’s actions back in 2011. He pointed out that, since then, Libya has become a failed state and a ‘black hole’ for terrorists, arms trafficking and illegal migrant flows.
“It is very difficult to move forward without understanding the underlying causes,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov continued. “…We would like Libyans themselves to determine their fate and begin an inclusive, businesslike dialogue without any artificial deadlines imposed on them from outside and without attempts to rush Libyans against their will.”
“We are concerned about the fact that some armed groups in certain parts of Libya said they would use warplanes against the Libyan National Army,” he pointed out. “Those who have influence with these units, must prevent this escalation.”
Lavrov stressed that the global community needed to call on the Libyans to cease hostilities and sit down at the negotiating table.
Russia is opposed to blame the Libyan crisis on one of the side of the conflict, Minister said following talks with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry.
“Today we discussed Libya in detail taking into account the developments there. We keep a close eye on the armed forces’ advance, including the Libyan National Army and other groups, including those, which are illegal armed groups and control a considerable part of the country’s capital and some other areas,” Lavrov said. “We exchanged information on how this situation is discussed by the UN Security Council. We are opposed to attempts to apportion blame unilaterally.”
Moscow maintains contacts with all Libyan parties. “We welcomed contacts between Libyan National Army Commander Khalifa Haftar and head of the Government of National Accord Fayez al-Sarraj,” Russsian diplomat said. “During our contacts with all Libyan political forces, we send them the same signals, and we have never tried to bank on anyone. I am certain this is the way one should act in this case.”
He drew attention to the fact that the UN Security Council would convene again on Saturday to get detailed information on the developments in that country.
A policeman perished, while attempting to defuse a bomb outside a Coptic Christian church in Egypt, security officials said.
Late Mustafa Abid was reportedly a specialist in mine clearance. The explosion injured two other officers and one pedestrian.
The device was hidden in a bag on a roof by the church in Nasr City outside Cairo.
Coptic Christmas is celebrated on January 7, following non-recognition of the canon of the Catholic Church (1582) Gregorian calendar reform.