Meeting with Mr Morsi, President of Egypt
President Barroso reiterated the commitment to work with Egypt to build a democratic, free and prosperous country. He also strongly condemned the continuing violence in Syria and recent attacks against the U.S. embassy in Libya.
President Barroso congratulated President Morsi - the first democratically elected President of Egypt - on his election and stressed his vision of Egypt as a country that continues to respond to the aspirations of all those who were assembled in Tahrir Square and around the country last year.
He was very pleased with the reassurances given by President Morsi, especially with Egypt's unwavering commitment to democracy and the rule of law and to the defence of fundamental rights and freedoms for all Egyptians, irrespective of their age, gender or creed. "In fact the respect for minorities, women's rights, and inter-faith dialogue are essential for the future and stability of the country," said President Barroso.
The European Union has also already supported and will continue to support Egypt's transition financially. €449 million has been made available to Egypt for the years 2011-2013 to support several sectors in the country. "We have discussed with President Morsi that we are moreover ready to offer Macro Financial Assistance worth €500 million and the EU is also ready to consider a budget support operation of €150-200 million in support of an agreed Economic Recovery Plan."
"Egypt is an indispensable partner for the promotion of peace and stability in the region and in the Arab World," concluded President Barroso. He expressed his appreciation for President Morsi's wish to become more involved in the resolution of Syria crisis. "This is not acceptable. A President that kills his own people simply does not deserve to be President of a country," said President Barroso.
"Let me also recall that the European Union consistently condemn those who use religion to fuel extremism. I have the deepest respect for Islam and for all religious beliefs. But freedom of expression should not be confounded with the propagation of hate, of intolerance or of prejudice. I want to condemn on the strongest terms these manifestations of hate that sometimes we see against religions or against any other human beings."