20th Sep 2019

Egypt asks Ashton to cancel her trip

The Egyptian foreign ministry has told Catherine Ashton they do not want her to visit the country in the coming weeks as she had planned.

According to a senior EU official speaking to press in Brussels on Wednesday evening, Egyptian authorities made it known that now is not the best time: "The foreign minister has said he doesn't want visitors in Cairo in February because their calendar is too heavily loaded ... very busy domestic agenda."

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

  • Cairo protests: The Egyptian foreign ministry says it is currently to busy with domestic matters to receive Ms Ashton (Photo: Nasser Nouri)

The high representative still intends to go, however.

"If she can go there, she will," the contact said. "Frankly, I can hardly believe they won't receive her by the end of the month ... It would be a refusal to the EU as such because she has a mandate from the European Council.

"If for any reason they say it is not possible, they are saying this to the EU as a whole and the EU is one of their major partners. How can you tell a major partner you have to wait a month to see you?"

The official repeated that it is Ms Ashton's intention to meet with as many opposition forces as she can, including the Muslim Brotherhood.

"I would recommend her to meet with the Muslim Brotherhood because vice-president [Omar] Suleiman has met with them and you cannot ask the Egyptian government to be broad-based and then yourself say that you cannot meet this group," he noted, adding that at the same time, Ms Ashton will "take the view of other capitals" and an "exchange with [Hilary] Clinton" before making a final decision on meeting with the organisation.

She will also likely meet with the vice-president, although the official hinted that she does not hope to have an audience with President Hosni Mubarak himself.

"I never said she will meet with Mubarak," the official added.


Dismiss Italy's Salvini at your peril

Matteo Salvini's recent gambit may have failed, but, in his own words: "From today you will find me even more pissed off and determined. I will go from town to town and we will take this country back."


Brexit raises questions for EU defence integration

Brussels' current vision for cooperation on defence, where third countries can contribute but have no say in decision-making and in the guidance of operations, is unlikely to be attractive to the UK.

Low-carbon cities can unlock €21tn by 2050, report finds

National governments have a "crucial role" to prioritise low-carbon cities to tackle climate challenges and secure economic prosperity since high-carbon systems are expected to become unprofitable or inoperable in the near future.

News in Brief

  1. UK Brexit minister to meet Barnier on Friday
  2. Russia-Ukraine gas deal talks show 'progress'
  3. Nobel economist: Ireland 'not good EU citizen' on taxes
  4. Germany takes carbon border tax on board
  5. Austria to veto EU trade deal with South America
  6. Brexit minister asks EU for 'flexibility' to secure a deal
  7. Kovesi has 'sufficient majority' for prosecutor post
  8. France, Finland give UK ultimatum for Brexit plan


These are the crunch issues for the 2019-2024 EU commission

These developments will largely determine who will be running the world in the coming decades and perhaps generations. If the Europeans can't find an answer over the five years, they will be toast. And we haven't even mentioned climate change.


Trumpworld In Europe

Pastors and plutocrats are sponsoring an ultra-conservative agenda in Europe. Many of them have links to Donald Trump.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNew programme studies infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance
  2. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  6. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  8. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  9. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  10. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  11. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  12. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat

Latest News

  1. Nine EU 'commissioners' asked to clarify declarations
  2. Dismiss Italy's Salvini at your peril
  3. Malta PM accused of 'blackmail' over slain reporter
  4. Diplomats back Romania's Kovesi for EU top prosecutor
  5. Brexit raises questions for EU defence integration
  6. Low-carbon cities can unlock €21tn by 2050, report finds
  7. France, Italy want 'automatic' distribution of migrants
  8. Europe's refugee policy is test of its true 'way of life'

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us