Brussels, 3 February, 2011 – In an open letter to Baroness Catherine Ashton, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, ECI is today calling upon the EU to prevent a further radicalisation of the Middle East by engaging in dialogue with all the democratic forces in Egypt. While engaging in this dialogue for an orderly transition and political reforms, the EU needs to make it clear that organisations which do not respect basic human rights and fundamental freedoms can under no circumstances be supported by the international community.
‘Despite its stated goals to promote democracy and human rights in the Middle East, the EU has not given sufficient support to a democratic opposition’, writes ECI director Tomas Sandell in the letter. ‘For many years the European Commission has been accused of letting organisations with links to known terrorist groups in Lebanon and the Palestinian territories use EU funds for their humanitarian activities, thus strengthening the fundamentalist forces in the region while at the same time making it more difficult for a true democratic opposition to evolve’.
The letter states that the EU now needs to make it crystal clear that the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Hizbollah in Lebanon can never become partners for peace so long as they refuse to recognize the existential right of a Jewish state in the region.
’These are decisive moments for the future of the whole region’, writes Sandell. ‘The EU now needs to stick to its core values and fundamental principles by only supporting groups which abide by democratic norms and accept universal values as enshrined in the UN Declaration of Human Rights.’
‘It is of vital importance for the whole region that those groups which promote terror and war are not supported by the international community. Only by promoting human rights and democracy can we safeguard stability, peace and prosperity in the region and a future co-existence between Israel and its Arab neighbours.’
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