WASHINGTON, July 19, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- During her visit to Egypt, European Union High Representative Catherine Ashton emphasized the EU will continue to support the democratic transition in the country.
With President Mohamed Morsi, High Representative Ashton discussed the principles of democracy and the importance of inclusivity as she stressed the EU's wholehearted support for the peaceful and orderly transition to a civilian and democratic government in Egypt.
"But as we know, democracy and freedom are built from within, not imported from abroad," High Representative Ashton said. "So to be clear, the European Union wants to help Egypt build the kind of democracy that meets the aspirations of all Egyptians. We are keen to help, but only the Egyptian people can do it. It is what I call 'Deep Democracy': not just organizing one election, but building institutions and ensuring people's rights - freedom of expression, freedom of religion and respect for minorities."
High Representative Ashton also delivered the keynote address at an EU conference on "Egyptian Women: The Way Forward," where she called on the participants to remain at the heart of the transformations and said that women's rights will be the litmus test of a successful transition. She announced a new initiative which brings the EU's support for women's rights in Egypt up to 11 million euros. "It is time for the transition to deliver for women of this country and for women across the world and it is an enormous privilege to say that we wish to work with you and to offer support not just from me but from the EU."
SOURCE Delegation of the European Union to the United States