- Title: BELGIUM: Senior EU diplomats meet in Brussels to discuss situation in Egypt
- Date: 19th August 2013
- Summary: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM (RECENT) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF EU COUNCIL BUILDING
- Embargoed: 3rd September 2013 13:00
- Location: Belgium
- Country: Belgium
- Topics: Conflict
- Reuters ID: LVA9PU12R7LAZC9FOCDMSK6Z9XEB
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: Senior European Union diplomats met in Brussels on Monday (August 19) to assess the situation in Egypt and possible EU action.
The diplomats will also discuss convening EU foreign ministers, but no decision on when the ministers would meet has been taken.
European Union governments will this week question how to best use their economic ties with Egypt to pressure Cairo's army-backed rulers into finding a peaceful compromise with supporters of deposed Islamist President Mohamed Mursi.
At stake could be a 5 billion euro ($6.7 billion) package of grants and loans promised by the EU, its member governments and international financial institutions last year, as well as various trade incentives, EU officials and experts say.
The EU's ability to exert immediate economic pressure on Cairo is limited - much of its current aid is already stopped because of inadequate democratic reforms.
But the hope is that such a signal could help end a bloody crackdown by the government against Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood, in which around 800 people have died, and prevent further bloodshed between the two sides.
Diplomats meeting in Brussels will decide which areas of economic cooperation could be targeted and prepare a possible meeting of EU foreign ministers to be held in the next two weeks.
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