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World leaders ask Egypt military to quickly restore democracy

Last updated on: July 04, 2013 13:00 IST

World leaders reacted cautiously to the political upheaval in Egypt that saw the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi, asking the Egyptian military to rapidly restore democracy.

"We are deeply concerned by the decision of the Egyptian armed forces to remove President Morsi and suspend the Egyptian constitution," US President Barack Obama said in a statement.

"I now call on the Egyptian military to move quickly and responsibly to return full authority back to a democratically elected civilian government as soon as possible through an inclusive and transparent process, and to avoid any arbitrary arrests of President Morsi and his supporters," he said.

He also directed the relevant departments and agencies to review the implications under US law for our assistance to the government of Egypt.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said, "The situation is clearly dangerous and we call on all sides to show restraint and avoid violence."

The United Kingdom does not support military intervention as a way to resolve disputes in a democratic system, he said.  

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for calm, non-violence, dialogue and restraint. "At this moment of continued high tension and uncertainty in the country, the secretary-general reiterates his appeals for calm, non-violence, dialogue and restraint.

"An inclusive approach is essential to addressing the needs and concerns of all Egyptians. Preservation of fundamental rights, including freedom of speech and assembly remain of vital importance," Ban said.

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton asked "all sides to rapidly return to the democratic process, including the holding of free and fair presidential and parliamentary elections and the approval of a constitution, to be done in a fully inclusive manner, so as to permit the country to resume and complete its democratic transition."

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Paris took note that elections had been announced in Egypt following a transition period. "In a situation that has worsened seriously and with extreme tension in Egypt, new elections have finally been announced, after a transition period," Fabius said in a statement. "France takes note of it."

Saudi King Abdullah congratulated Egypt's new caretaker president, saying his appointment comes at a "critical" time in the nation's history, "In the name of the people of Saudi Arabia and on my behalf, we congratulate your leadership of Egypt in this critical period of its history. We pray for God to help you bear the responsibility laid upon you to achieve the ambitions of our brotherly people of Egypt."

Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan, the foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates, expressed his full confidence that the people of Egypt are able to cross these difficult moments that Egypt is going through.

Image: Soldiers in military vehicles proceed towards the presidential palace in Cairo

Photograph: Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters

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