Archive for the ‘Norway Egypt’ Category
“I am concerned about developments in Cairo over the last 24 hours, and deeply deplore the extensive use of violence against Coptic protesters on 9 October. Egypt plays a key role in the region, and it is vital that the democratic transition process doesn’t come to a halt,” commented Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.
At least 25 people are reported to have been killed following yesterday’s clashes in Egypt’s capital Cairo between Coptic Christian demonstrators, soldiers and other protesters opposing the Copts. The demonstrators were protesting against an earlier attack on a Coptic church in Aswan.
“Egypt’s transitional military authorities are responsible for the security of all of the country’s citizens. All groups in Egyptian society must be able to enjoy freedom of belief, expression and assembly without fearing for their lives and health,” Mr Støre stressed.
Coptic Christians make up around 10% of the population of Egypt. In recent years there have been growing tensions between religious groups in the country.
“There is cause for concern if the state media have contributed to inciting unrest. The Egyptian media has a responsibility to cover incidents of this kind in an objective, critical and balanced way. It is also essential that independent media are able to carry out their role freely,” commented Foreign Minister Støre.
“I urge all actors to show responsibility and engage in common efforts to prevent further acts of violence. Norway supports the calls for the use of violence over the last 24 hours to be investigated, and those responsible must be brought to justice,” Mr Støre said.