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Foreign Secretary calls for restraint in Egypt

Foreign Secretary William Hague said that "it's very important that the security authorities, the Government respect the right to peaceful protest".

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Speaking today the Foreign Secretary said:

“President Mubarak spoke partly about Egypt’s international reputation last night and one of the things that damaged that reputation were some of the scenes we saw last week of violence against protestors. I urge the Egyptian authorities to respect the right to peaceful protest today.”

“The Army have said many times they would not use force against protesters. We expect them to hold to that and also call on protestors to protest in a peaceful way.”

The Foreign Secretary also called for clarity:

“President Mubarak spoke last night and he spoke partly about transferring some power to Vice President of Egypt it’s quite hard to work out what powers are being transferred. It’s not clear on the ground there what is happening and what is being proposed and that isn’t helping the political situation.”

“They need to show that there is a credible, real, comprehensive change in clear and unambiguous language.”

“There isn’t enough trust in the situation because the crowds in Egypt have wrung the concessions out of the Government bit by bit rather than these being presented at the beginning as a clear way forward and so it does underline the need for in our opinion, one of the things that, that we’ve called for all along, a more broadly based representative Government so that people would be able to see that those in authority were actually people drawn from a wider spread of opinion rather than from the ruling party of the last thirty years. Now we say that with all respect to the sovereignty of Egypt. We are not, and we must not meddle in the affairs of Egypt, but we do think that’s the sort of thing that would help to calm this situation and show people that there is a credible and irrevocable way forward.”

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Published 11 February 2011