Germany summons Egyptian envoy over 'unacceptable' raids

30th December 2011, Comments 0 comments

The German government summoned the Egyptian ambassador to Berlin Friday over the "unacceptable" raid by Cairo police of a German political foundation, a foreign ministry spokesman said.

The spokesman, Andreas Peschke, said Berlin was troubled by the searches Thursday targeting the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, which has close ties to Angela Merkel's conservative party, and other local and foreign rights groups.

"The Egyptian ambassador was summoned to the foreign ministry this morning," Peschke told a regular government news briefing.

"Our deep concern in light of yesterday's search of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation was conveyed to him in the clearest terms. He was told that in our view it is unacceptable for the foundation's work to be hindered in this way."

Peschke added that Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle expected the authorities in Cairo to allow the foundation to resume its work "immediately".

He said the raid was a clear violation of a joint German-Egyptian government accord signed in August for a "transformation partnership" to promote the development of democracy and civil society in Egypt and urged Cairo to stay on the path of modernisation and respect for human rights.

Peschke added that Germany intended to keep providing financial support for democratic reforms in Egypt but "would re-examine this if progress is not made".

The Konrad Adenauer Foundation condemned the search as well, calling it "completely incomprehensible" in a statement.

Egyptian police raided more than a dozen offices belonging to rights organisations as part of what authorities called an investigation into alleged illicit foreign funding, sparking international condemnation.

© 2011 AFP

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