“The European Union suspends weapon export licences to Egypt,” writes eldiario.es after the extraordinary meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council on August 21, where the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton was also asked to review the issue of EU financial assistance to Egypt. The Council also called “on all sides” to stop the ongoing cycle of violence.
The EU’s decision “follows the direction already outlined by Angela Merkel some days ago,” argues El Mundo, which adds —
This measure [suspending weapon export licences] – the consequences of which would not be great due to the fact [Egypt’s] allies such as Saudi Arabia have already announced they would be able to provide the suspended military aid — is intended to be a tool to put pressure on the Egyptian government, to make it recover its road map to democracy and not exclude the Muslim Brotherhood. EU diplomatic efforts focus on moderates, not radicals, to take charge of the situation. Although, the current will of the military and the nonexistent democratic tradition in Egypt, do not allow much scope for optimism.