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Germany considering halting arms exports to Egypt: Merkel

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An Egyptian army armoured vehicle in front of the Supreme Constitutional Court in Cairo on August 18, 2013. German chancellor Angela Merkel said on Sunday that stopping arms shipments to Egypt would be an appropriate way to put pressure on the country as it is gripped by deadly violence.AFP

German chancellor Angela Merkel said on Sunday that stopping arms shipments to Egypt would be an appropriate way to put pressure on the country as it is gripped by deadly violence.

Speaking to German television station, ZDF, Merkel said arms exports to Egypt could be "subject to measures which clearly show our scepticism about what is happening."

"There will probably be a meeting of European Union foreign ministers" in the coming days to assess the Egyptian situation, she said.

"We will examine what steps can be taken... we must act together and take the same measures," said Merkel, who described the situation in Egypt as "worrying."

EU diplomats are scheduled to hold emergency talks in Brussels about the ongoing bloodshed in Egypt on Monday.

More than 750 people were killed in four days of violence after a military and police crackdown on Islamist protesters loyal to ousted president Mohamed Morsi.

In an interview with the German weekly magazine, Focus, published on Sunday, the German Foreign Minister, Guido Westerwelle, said that Berlin's export of arms to Egypt was "already restrictive."

"And it will remain so, particularly in view of current developments," he added.

Germany's economic ministry indicated on Saturday that it had frozen all decisions on arms exports to Egypt.

European Union leaders, Herman Van Rompuy and Jose Manuel Barroso, warned Cairo on Sunday that the EU was ready to "reexamine" its relations with Egypt if there was no end to the current violence.