Merkel calls on Egypt to allow peaceful protest
German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak to allow peaceful protest and freedom of expression Friday, as protests against his rule raged in Cairo.
"We are all worried by the pictures we are seeing from Egypt and I call on all participants, including the Egyptian government and president, to permit peaceful demonstrations, to give freedom of opinion a chance," Merkel said.
"We must do everything to make sure that violence ends, otherwise the consequence will be innocent victims," she told reporters on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in the Swiss ski resort of Davos.
"The stability of the country is of extreme importance but not at the price of freedom of expression... We need to arrive at a peaceful dialogue," the German chancellor insisted.
An embattled Mubarak mobilised troops and declared a curfew in three major provinces on Friday, as tens of thousands of protesters rampaged through the streets demanding he step down.
© 2011 AFP