Fianna Fáil Seanad Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Jim Walsh, has called on the Minister for Foreign Affairs to make direct contact with Egyptian authorities to express his concern for Irish citizens in Cairo.
Having visited there last week, Senator Walsh said the rapidly deteriorating situation is a huge cause for concern.
“In Cairo last week I met with supporters of the deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, members of the Muslin Brotherhood and members of the Shura Council, which is the Egyptian Senate. I also met with the acting Minister for Foreign Affairs, Nabil Fahmy, as well as a number of Irish nationals.
“I saw for myself how tense the situation really is. There has to be a peaceful resolution and negotiated settlements of differences and a return to democratic rule in Egypt.
“The slaughtering of innocent civilians and the use of machine guns is unacceptable. The Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore should make contact with Ireland’s EU partners to seek to bring the current attacks on protesters in Cairo to a halt.
“I am also calling on the Minister to make direct contract with Egyptian authorities to express his concern about the dangers to Irish citizens who are involved in peaceful protests.
“I met a number of young Irish people last week in the main Rabaa Al-Adawieh square who are directly involved in protests and have gone out to support pro-democracy demonstrations.
“News today that a cameraman with Sky News lost his life in the line of duty bringing these new stories to a global audience is deeply regrettable. It is indicative of excessive force being used against peaceful protestors, which leads to needless loss of life. While in Egypt, the targeting of Christians was raised with the leaders of the Muslin brotherhood and members of the Shura Council to ensure that the Christian minority community, which accounts for 8% of the Egyptian population, would be protected and defended against such sectarian attacks.”