News / Middle East

European Leaders Urge Egypt's Mubarak to Relinquish Power

European Union Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton arrives for an EU summit in Brussels, February 4, 2011
European Union Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton arrives for an EU summit in Brussels, February 4, 2011
Lisa Bryant

As anti-government protesters stage more massive rallies in Egypt, European Union leaders have toughened their calls at a summit in Brussels for Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to step down from power - and for pro and anti-government protesters to end their violent clashes.

Energy and the eurozone were the topics of discussion for the European leaders gathering for a one-day summit Friday. But the talks in Brussels were overshadowed by events in Egypt, where demands are growing for President Hosni Mubarak to step down - sooner, rather than later.

Immediate transition

Five European Union leaders issued a call Thursday, for Mr. Mubarak to begin a transition to democracy "immediately."  And on Friday, European heads of state called for the Mubarak government to hold talks with Egypt's opposition. British Prime Minister David Cameron sharpened the tone, saying the steps taken to date by Egyptian authorities are insufficient.

"I think above all the message is this: If we see on the streets of Cairo today state sponsored violence or the hiring of thugs to beat up protesters, then Egypt and its regime would lose any remaining credibility and support in the eyes of the watching world, including Britain," said Cameron.

Slow response?

Despite the stronger rhetoric, analysts like Olivier Jehan, head of the Brussels office of the French Institute of International Relations, say Europe has been slow to respond to the protests washing across the Arab world - starting with Tunisia.

"The Unites States today is the main actor and the first to react in what should be, or is, in fact the backyard of Europe," said Jehan.

Some European lawmakers have echoed that criticism, saying Europe should be more forceful in responding to democratic aspirations across the Arab world.

European Union leaders have also been discussing strengthening the bailout fund for the 17 members sharing the common euro currency and ways to reduce European dependency on foreign energy imports.

NEW: Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid