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Egypt

House of Lords written question – answered on 6th June 2011.

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Photo of Lord Alton of Liverpool Lord Alton of Liverpool Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will make representations to the Government of Egypt regarding violence being perpetrated against the country's Coptic minority.

Photo of Lord Howell of Guildford Lord Howell of Guildford Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (International Energy Policy)

There were violent clashes between Muslims and Coptic Christians in Egypt on 7 and 9 May 2011, leaving up to 15 dead and over 250 people injured. Peaceful demonstrations about these events were attacked on 15 May 2011 by unidentified gunmen, again resulting in injuries.

The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right honourable friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), condemned this violence in a Statement to Parliament on 16 May 2011. He called on both sides to find a peaceful resolution to their differences and welcomed the fact that many in Egypt had been appalled by the violence. The noble Baroness, Lady Ashton, issued a statement on behalf of the EU condemning the clashes on 7 May 2011.

The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right honourable friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), visited Egypt on 1-2 May 2011. He raised his concerns about the dangers of extremism and sectarianism in Egypt with the head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, Field Marshal Tantawi, and with the Prime Minister.

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