Halting weapons shipments to Egypt will help curtail ongoing violence in the heavily divided country, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Sunday.
On Friday, the German government announced it would put on hold all of its arms exports to Cairo.
In an interview with German television station ZDF, Merkel said the decision to freeze all arms exports to Egypt illustrates Germany’s uneasiness with the Middle Eastern country’s rapidly increasing levels of violence.
The measures, Merkel said, “clearly show our skepticism about what is happening” in Egypt.
Merkel added that within the next few days, “there will probably be a meeting of European Union foreign ministers” to rethink and reevaluate the situation in Egypt.
Official figures show that more than 13 million euros’ worth of weapons were approved for sale earlier this year, prior to the freeze.
EU diplomats on Monday are scheduled to hold an emergency discussion in Brussels regarding the Egyptian unrest.
On Sunday, German Minister of Foreign Affairs Guido Westerwelle stated that the shipment of weapons to Egypt was effectively already restricted.
In an interview with the German daily Focus, Westerwelle stressed that the arms export freeze is set to remain intact, “particularly in view of current developments.”
More than 800 people have been killed nationwide since Wednesday’s dismantling of two encampments of Morsi supporters in Cairo — an act that sparked fierce clashes.
The violence has brought growing international isolation for the country’s interim leadership.
The European Union said Sunday it would “urgently review” its relations with Egypt over the violence.
The presidents of the European Commission and the European Council, Jose Manuel Barroso and Herman Van Rompuy, said Sunday in a rare joint foreign-policy statement that it was the responsibility of the army and the interim government to end the violence.
They said calls for democracy and fundamental rights “cannot be disregarded, much less washed away in blood,” adding that “the violence and the killings of these last days cannot be justified or condoned.”
The EU bloc is a major source of aid and business for Egypt.