• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Germany cuts holidays after Egypt violence

The Local · 16 Aug 2013, 16:06

Published: 16 Aug 2013 16:06 GMT+02:00

Merkel’s office released a statement saying that both leaders shared "deep concern and dismay about the high number of fatalities and injuries" and would continue to closely coordinate their response to the crisis in the north African country.

Egypt has faced international condemnation since around 600 people were killed in clashes on Wednesday when police broke up protest camps of supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi, in Egypt's bloodiest day in decades.

Earlier on Friday the German government said it "condemned in the strongest terms" the bloodshed.

The foreign ministry meanwhile widened its travel alert from Cairo and parts of the Nile River Delta to all of Egypt - including the popular Red Sea tourist resorts - advising German citizens to stay away.

And big tour companies including TUI and Thomas Cook said they would scrap all trips until mid-September.

On the day Islamists staged "Friday of anger" marches, Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert said: "We call on all sides, especially today, to act peacefully and refrain from any use of violence", as well as a return to dialogue and an all-inclusive political process.”

"The political and military leadership of Egypt along with the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood now carry great responsibility," Seibert told a press briefing. "Further escalations could plunge Egypt into a chaos of violence and counter-violence and further escalation."

Seibert also said reports of attacks on houses of worship, "greatly worry us," after Coptic Christian churches were attacked in the mainly Muslim country.

Meanwhile Merkel, in pre-released excerpts of an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung daily, said that "violence must under no circumstances be used as a solution to political problems".

Along with the United States and other EU powers, she said: "We remain convinced that Egypt can only overcome the crisis in a peaceful political process that is open to all political forces and does not exclude any party.”

The chancellor pointed to EU help for Egypt and other Arab Spring countries, including with pro-democracy programmes, but added: "We can help the countries of the region, but only the societies themselves can choose the right path."

German foreign ministry spokesman Andreas Peschke meanwhile advised Germans to refrain from any non-essential travel to the country, saying: "Travel is not recommended in the whole of Egypt."

He suggested at least 10,000 Germans were currently in Egypt, mostly tourists.

Story continues below…

Peschke also said Berlin supported the idea of all EU foreign ministers meeting on the Egypt crisis in the first half of next week, following a meeting Monday of 28 senior officials in charge of foreign policy and security.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle is to receive his Qatari counterpart on Saturday, Peschke said.

AFP/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Analysis
Is it fair to call the AfD far right?
AfD leaders, from left, Georg Pazderski, Frauke Petry and Jörg Meuthen. Photo: DPA.

The AfD has been dubbed "far-right" over the past year as it has taken on a tougher stance against immigration and made gains in state elections. But at what point does one call a group far-right?

Dresden police guard Islamic buildings after mosque attack
The Dresden mosque that was hit by a homemade bomb attack on Monday. Photo: DPA.

All Islamic buildings in the capital of Saxony have been put under police protection on Tuesday after explosive devices were detonated at a mosque and a congress centre in the city.

Germany blocks WhatsApp data transfers to Facebook
Photo: DPA

German data protection authorities on Tuesday said they had blocked Facebook from collecting subscriber data from its subsidiary WhatsApp, citing privacy concerns.

Stuttgart fest pulls in twice as many boozers as Oktoberfest
Is this Oktoberfest or is this Stuttgart's Cannstatter Volksfest? Can you tell the difference? Well, it's Stuttgart. Photo: DPA.

Apparently Munich is no longer the top place to wear lederhosen and down beer one litre at a time.

The Local List
10 German films you have to watch before you die
Photo: DPA

These films are so good, not even The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari made the list.

Young man destroys 17 cars after visiting Oktoberfest

Early on Monday morning a drunk 29-year-old trashed 17 cars after staggering out of Oktoberfest into the Munich streets. It was one of several eye-popping crimes from "Wiesn" over the past few days.

VW emissions scandal
Audi tech chief leaves after reports link him to 'dieselgate'
Audi's head of technical development Stefan Knirsch stepped down on Monday. Photo: DPA.

Audi's head of technical development stepped down "with immediate effect" on Monday, the luxury carmaker announced, after German media accused him of involvement in parent company Volkswagen's "dieselgate" scandal.

Deutsche Bank shares hit lowest level in quarter century
Photo: DPA.

Shares in Deutsche Bank, Germany's biggest lender, sank to a historic low on Monday after reports at the weekend that Berlin had refused state aid for the embattled lender.

The Local List
The 10 worst German cities for students to find digs
Photo: DPA

It's the start of autumn, which means the start of the university year. But along with the excitement comes the stress of finding housing - and in some glamorous locations this can be a nightmare.

German broadcaster sues Turkey over confiscated video
Akif Cagatay Kilic. Photo: DPA

German international broadcaster Deutsche Welle said Monday it had filed a civil complaint after a Turkish minister's office confiscated a taped video interview with him.

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Lifestyle
10 German films you have to watch before you die
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
Lifestyle
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
National
Seven great reasons to stay in Germany this September
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
National
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
National
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
6,511
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd