The European Union reiterates call for power transfer

The European Union (EU) on Wednesday reiterated calls for an end to military rule and the speedy transition of power to an elected civilian authority.

Michael Mann, speaking on behalf of EU High Representative Catherine Ashton, told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the EU repeatedly emphasized to its Egyptian partners, both privately and publicly, the need to transfer presidential powers from the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) to a democratically elected civilian authority as soon as possible.

Political activists have called on all Egyptian citizens practice civil disobedience on 11 February in order to demand a quick power transfer from the SCAF to a civilian authority, as well as speedy trials for those involved in killing protesters during the revolution and transition phase.

The SCAF has attacked calls for civil disobedience and the Muslim Brotherhood has urged citizens not to participate in it.

The administrator of the SCAF’s Facebook page on Sunday said the strike would pull the Egyptian economy into the abyss, and chaos would lead to the fall of the state.

In response to comments made by Egyptian Prime Minister Kamal al-Ganzouri in which he said Western countries refuse to lend Egypt money, Mann said that in May 2011, a Group of Eight summit in Deauville decided to allocate US$20 billion for Egypt and Tunisia through multilateral banks. He said the money, which would be allocated for the period of 2011 to 2013, included over US$3.5 billion from the European Investment Bank.

In a statement, EU High Representative Catherine Ashton said the EU contacted both Egypt and Israel to discuss the seizure of Libyan weapons in the Sinai by Egyptian authorities.

Ashton informed the European representatives that its coordination with Egypt and Israel aims to seize Libyan weapons and stem smuggling into the Sinai and the Gaza Strip.

Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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