On March 18th 2014 the Bishop of Coventry, Rt Rev Christopher Cocksworth, received answers to two written questions about Egypt: election monitoring and the suspension of export licences for equipment that could be used for internal repression.
The Lord Bishop of Coventry: To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether any decision has yet been taken to send European Union observers to monitor the Presidential elections to be held in Egypt later this year.
The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi) (Con): The EU European External Action Service is discussing with Egyptian authorities its intention to send an Electoral Observation Mission to Egypt for the upcoming presidential elections. We would support a deployment.
We continue to believe that the best way to create stability and prosperity in Egypt is through a genuinely inclusive political process open to all political groups that reject violence. The political future of Egypt belongs to the Egyptian people and we look forward to the elections when their voices can be heard.
The Lord Bishop of Coventry: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they have taken to implement the European Union Foreign Affairs Council decision of 21 August 2013 requiring Member States (1) to suspend export licences to Egypt of any equipment which might be used for internal repression, and (2) to reassess export licences for equipment covered by Common Position 2008/944/CFSP and review their security assistance to Egypt.
Baroness Warsi: The UK fully supports the decision of EU Foreign Ministers to suspend export licensing to Egypt for equipment which might be used for internal repression.
After the Foreign Affairs Council decision in August 2013, the UK suspended 48 export licences for equipment which might have been used for internal repression.
Subsequently, in line with Foreign Affairs Council conclusions, we have fully re-assessed all licences for Egypt. This resulted in the approval of 24 licences where we do not judge that the goods might be used for internal repression and the revocation of 3 licences where we judge that there is a clear risk that the goods might be used for internal repression. All licences for goods which we judge might be used for internal repression will remain suspended and several licences which were suspended have now expired so no action has been taken on them.