Hague urges Egypt to reform after clashes
The Foreign Secretary William Hague today urged Egypt to move towards political reform to quell growing anger that has led to street protests and violent clashes between demonstrators and police.
Thousands of Egyptians have vented their rage against President Hosni Mubarak's autocratic government over two days of protests that defied a ban on public gatherings.
Baton-wielding police responded with tear gas and beatings in a crackdown that has shown no tolerance for dissent.
Egypt's largest anti-government protests in years echo the recent uprising in Tunisia.
Mr Hague said it was not for other countries to dictate who should be in power, or what their tactics should be, but told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "Clearly, in so many of these countries people do have legitimate grievances, which are economic and political.
"While every country is different, and we shouldn't try to dictate what they should do, in general I do think it's important in this situation to respond positively to legitimate demands for reform, to move towards openness, transparency and greater political freedom.
"That would be my advice to Egyptian leaders."
The Egyptian government is reported to have shut down social networking sites in a bid to stop the unrest spreading, and Mr Hague said: "I would urge the Egyptian government, and I have urged the Egyptian government, to respect rights of freedom of assembly and freedom of expression.
"It would be futile over time to try to suppress such things."
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Axe wielding man shot dead after attacking four New York policemen on busy street
- 3 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 4 Jimmy Carr's Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
- 5 Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery rumours: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
FCKH8: YouTube reinstates provocative anti-sexism video showing young girls swearing
Axe wielding man shot dead after attacking four New York policemen on busy street
This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
McKamey Manor: This 'extreme' haunted house is the stuff of nightmares
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Attacks on 'Ukip Calypso' show how skewed people’s priorities are
Poppy Appeal 2014: This is why I won't be wearing a red poppy this year
£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£47,334 - £59,058 per annum: Coventry University: The Centre for Agroecology, ...