News24

Europe offers to boost Egypt transition

2011-02-02 15:49

Brussels - Europe on Wednesday offered to step up assistance to Egypt in its transition to democracy and expressed support for the "legitimate aspirations" of its people.

Reiterating EU calls for an "orderly transition", the bloc's executive arm, the European Commission, urged "the necessary reforms including the holding of free and fair elections to be undertaken in a timely, decisive and concrete manner.

"The European Commission stands ready to step up its assistance to Egypt and its people in this transition," it added in a statement.

The body's 27 commissioners said the transition should bring together "all political forces and civil society ready to abide by democratic norms".

"The European Commission firmly believes that rule of law, respect for fundamental rights, free and fair elections and a pluralist democracy anchored in an active civil society are the best means to achieve stability and prosperity."

It also expressed a "firm commitment to support the legitimate aspirations of the people of Egypt".

The statement said European and Mediterranean countries shared both a common history and cultural heritage as well as common hopes for dignity, well-being and respect for personal freedoms.