Cairo, 16 August (AKI)
Egypt: Archaeologists urge govt to cut ties with foreign missions
The Egyptian Archaeologists’ Syndicate said its wants the ministry to take immediate steps to cut all ties, even including banning international researchers and students from Egyptian museums and archaeological sites.
Foreign archaeological and cultural institutes, especially American institutions, should be cut off because of their country’s support of ‘terrorism’ i.e. the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood’s recent clashes with security forces, the syndicate’s coordinator Salah El-Hadi said in a press release cited by Al-Ahram.
“This ban should continue until those foreign cultural and archaeological institutes in Egypt pronounce their official rejection of their countries’ policy of intervention in Egypt’s internal affairs,” El-Hadi was quoted as saying.
“If the ministry does not accept and follow-through with our demands, archaeologists will implement the prohibition [ourselves] and will work towards cutting any cooperation with them,” the statement warned.
The statement came hours after a French-convened United Nations council meeting started to discuss the army’s deadly operation on Wednesday to clear two protest camps in Cairo set up by supporters of deposed Islamist president Mohammed Morsi. Over 600 people were killed in the operation.
US President Barak Obama criticised Wednesday’s violence and “the steps that have been taken by Egypt’s interim government and security forces…We deplore violence against civilians,” he said.
Top officials of 28 European Union members will hold a meeting next Monday to discuss the situation in Egypt, the EU said on Friday.
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton has said she is monitoring the situation with great disquiet.