Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Foreign affairs minister Baird calls for restraint in Egypt - Globe and Mail

Canada is calling for calm amid escalating violence in Egypt involving security forces and supporters of the country's ousted president.

In a statement, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird says he's deeply concerned by the violence and called on Egypt to implement much-needed changes to ease tensions.

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Canada supports "a transparent democratic system that respects the voices of its citizens, and that encourages and respects civil society and all other segments of the population," the statement says.

Such a system would restore calm and give all Egyptians a stake in the country's future stability and prosperity, it continues.

"We urge both parties to avoid violence, and engage in a meaningful political dialogue for the good of all Egyptians."

The Egyptian government declared a state of emergency shortly after security forces used bulldozers and armoured vehicles to clear two sit-in camps full of Mohammed Morsi's supporters in Cairo.

The death toll was said to be nearing 100, according to Egypt's health ministry, although Morsi supporters said the number killed in the violence was much higher.

Britain's Sky News said one of its cameramen had been killed in the violence.

"Our thoughts go out to the families and friends of those killed by today's violence, and we wish those injured a speedy recovery," Baird added.

"All Egyptians should show restraint and resolve in the coming days."
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