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EU suspends exporting selected arms to Egypt

EU foreign ministers decided on Wednesday to suspend exporting arms that could be used in repressing Egyptians, however aid programmes will remain untouched.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius announced that, "It was decided to suspend all arms deliveries that can be used in internal repression." The ministers held an emergency meeting on Egypt on Wednesday in Brussels.

Fabius added that, "We have decided to maintain our aid for the Egyptian population because it already suffers enormously."

Criticising the recent army crackdown on anti-coup protesters in Egypt, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton explained, "We do believe that the recent operations of the security forces have been disproportionate."

Ashton called for an end to the violence and renewed the EU's readiness to sponsor dialogue efforts. "We call on all sides to stop the cycle of violence, to stop the provocations, to stop the hate speech," she said.

The EU is Egypt's biggest trading partner and a major source of aid, loans and tourists. The EU and its member states last year pledged a combined €5 billion in loans and aid for Egypt.

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