Foreign Office Minister for the Middle East Alistair Burt expressed his concern about reports of violence in Egypt during protests in Cairo and elsewhere to mark the second anniversary of the Egyptian revolution and following the sentencing to death of 21 people in Port Said this morning. Mr Burt said:
“I am deeply concerned by reports of violent clashes resulting in a number of deaths and injuries, following demonstrations to mark the second anniversary of the 25 January revolution and the verdict in the Port Said court case today. This cannot help the process of dialogue which we encourage as vital for Egypt today, and we must condemn the violence in the strongest terms. We call on all parties to exercise maximum restraint and to ensure that all protests remain peaceful. I offer the condolences of the UK to the families of all the victims.
“We remain committed as a strong friend of Egypt and the Egyptian people to support the aim of strengthening true democracy. The right to peaceful freedom of expression and assembly is an essential part of this, but the violence we have seen today can have no place in a truly democratic Egypt.”