Prompt return of democracy in Egypt essential, says Gilmore

Tánaiste says those who value democracy cannot welcome military coup in Egypt

“I don’t think anybody who values democracy can be very happy about what is in effect a military coup in Egypt,” Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr Gilmore has said. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

“I don’t think anybody who values democracy can be very happy about what is in effect a military coup in Egypt,” Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr Gilmore has said. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Thu, Jul 4, 2013, 18:00

Anybody who values democracy cannot be happy with what is effectively a military coup in Egypt, Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore has said.

Speaking ahead of a citizenship ceremony being held in Dublin’s Convention Centre this afternoon, Mr Gilmore said that elections should be held as quickly as possible to allow Egypt to transition to a democracy where all citizens’ rights are respected.

“I don’t think anybody who values democracy can be very happy about what is in effect a military coup in Egypt,” Mr Gilmore said.

“I think that what needs to happen very quickly is that we have a full restoration of democracy in Egypt, move to elections as quickly as possible, get in place a government and a parliament in Egypt that is representative of all of the people and that enables Egypt to make the transition to democracy where the rights of all citizens are respected, where there is full and equal democracy including equal rights and equal opportunities for women.

“I have to say that I am particularly concerned about the reports of the bad treatment of women in the demonstrations and in their aftermath. The litmus test for me of a functioning democracy is how women are treated and I am particularly concerned about what’s happening in Egypt in that regard.”

Mr Gilmore said he was in frequent contact with the Irish embassy in Cairo which was working to protect Irish citizens living and working in Egypt andurged Irish citizens intending to travel to the country to follow travel advisories.

“In relation to people who are considering traveling to Egypt or who have plans to travel to Egypt, they should take very close regard of the travel advice of the Department of Foreign Affairs and consult the department’s website to get up-to-date travel advice on the situation in Egypt.

“There are quite a number of Irish people who are registered with our embassy in Egypt and we are keeping in close contact with them and our embassy will be working to ensure that the welfare of Irish citizens in Egypt are protected.”