Foreign Affairs Chairman receives further update on Egypt situation and hopes for early return of Halawa siblings

August 29th, 2013 - Pat Breen

29th August 2013

Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade Pat Breen TD this week received a briefing on the current developments in Egypt, including on the situation of the Halawa siblings, from the Chargé d’Affaires, Embassy of Egypt.

Deputy Breen said: “I would like to thank the Chargé for this further update on developments in Egypt. I expressed to him my deep concern and regret at the bloodshed that had taken place and my concern at the difficulties that this was likely to cause for a return to a working democratic system.

“On behalf of the Committee, and in light of the traditionally strong relationship between Ireland and Egypt, I stressed the importance of restoring constitutional government and adherence to the principles of human rights in the treatment of detainees.

“The Chargé stressed the importance to Egypt of the strong relationship that existed with Ireland and its people. He said that the Muslim Brotherhood had declined every offer to enter into the new reality that existed in Egypt, and that the situation in Raba al Adwiya Square and the Raba ’a Mosque, and in particular the presence there of firearms, and the increasing involvement of fundamentalist groups, gave the authorities no option but to take action. The way remained open for the involvement of the Muslim Brotherhood in political life, but on a non-violent basis. He said the future of President Morsi and other detainees would be determined by the courts.

“We also discussed the situation of the Halawa siblings, who are Irish citizens, who are to appear before the Prosecutor today. The Chargé said they were being well treated, that the Embassy of Ireland had consular access to them, and that they were receiving family visits. He said it was for the justice system to decide the way forward. On behalf of the Committee, I expressed appreciation for the access accorded to the Irish Embassy and the hope for their early return to Ireland.”