Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2011-02-02-Speech-3-128-000"

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"Mr President, Baroness Ashton, ladies and gentlemen, our response to the events in the Arab world must be based on our concept of humanity. Every human being, whether Muslim, Jew, Christian or of no particular faith, has the same value and the same right to live in dignity. If this is the case, then it also means that the people in the Arab countries have the right to live in freedom, in a democracy and with a way of life that respects human dignity. Today, therefore, it is our duty, our responsibility and an important task for the future for us to say to the people of the Arab world, who are peacefully standing up for freedom and democracy, that we are standing in solidarity at their side. We express our solidarity with the peaceful Muslims in the Arab world. We made the mistake once before of closing our eyes in relation to totalitarian Communism because we said that we need stability. We must not make this mistake again today, because stability also involves freedom and democracy, and that is something we should support. If what we are hearing at this time is true – I did not previously know that shots were being fired in Cairo, and previously the army was also being restrained in both Tunisia and Egypt – that the army is moving in with violence, then this can only last for a short time. In Europe, we had the uprisings in East Germany in 1953, in Hungary in 1956, in Czechoslovakia in 1968, and then came Solidarność. Freedom will prevail in the end, and therefore to all those who are using violence today we must say: stop shooting and give the people freedom by means of free elections. We ought to put all our efforts into supporting this in word and deed, including in this House."@en1

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