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Egyptian soldiers stand guard at a checkpoint during a dawn-to-dusk curfew in the Zamalek district of Cairo. AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo

Tánaiste and EU ministers to begin Egypt talks

Eamon Gilmore will warn EU ministers against economic sanctions, though plans to freeze aid are to be discussed.

THE TÁNAISTE AND Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore is to attend an emergency meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels today.

The talks are aimed at reviewing EU relations with Egypt. Ministers will discuss what steps the union can take to help bring about an end to the bloodshed in the African country.

Ministers will encourage both sides in the dispute to return to the negotiating table and will push for a return to the democratic process.

It is believed that there will be no economic sanctions proposed, but a number of programmes are on the table that would see aid programmes to Egypt frozen.

A Department of Foreign Affairs statement says that Gilmore will warn against economic sanctions.

The Tánaiste will emphasise the danger of any measures that may further polarise Egyptian society, while reiterating Ireland’s support for the Egyptian people in their aspiration for democratic and inclusive government.

The EU had pledged €5 billion in aid to now-deposed president Mohammed Morsi last year, though very little of that fund was actually accessed before Morsi was overthrown.

The money that was released went directly to the projects involved, with none going to the regime.

Read: Obama meeting with top officials to discuss future of US aid for Egypt

Read: ‘They are in good spirits’: Irish official visits Halawa siblings in Cairo jail

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