Germany 'condemns in strongest terms' Egypt violence

16th August 2013, Comments 0 comments

Germany on Friday "condemned in the strongest terms" the escalation of deadly violence in Egypt and urged all sides to avoid further bloodshed and return to dialogue.

The foreign ministry meanwhile widened its travel alert from Cairo and parts of the Nile River Delta to all of Egypt, including Red Sea tourist resorts, advising German citizens to stay away.

"The federal government condemns the violence, which in Cairo and other cities, according to state information, has claimed more than 600 lives, in the strongest terms," said Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert.

On the day Islamists called for a "Friday of anger", Seibert said: "We call on all sides, especially today, to act peacefully and refrain from any use of violence", as well as a return to dialogue and an all-inclusive political process.

"The political and military leadership of Egypt along with the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood now carry great responsibility," Seibert told a press briefing. "Further escalations could plunge Egypt into a chaos of violence and counter-violence and further escalation."

Seibert also said reports of attacks on houses of worship, "also greatly worries us," after Coptic Christian churches were attacked in the mainly-Muslim country.

Merkel and French President Francois Hollande were due to discuss the crisis by telehone at 1200 GMT.

Foreign ministry spokesman Andreas Peschke advised Germans to refrain from any non-essential travel, saying: "Travel is not recommended in the whole of Egypt."

He suggested at least 10,000 Germans were currently in Egypt at the moment, mostly tourists.

Peschke also said Berlin supported the idea of all EU foreign ministers meeting on the Egypt crisis in the first half of next week, following a meeting Monday of 28 senior officials in charge of foreign policy and security.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle is to receive his Qatari counterpart on Saturday, Peschke said.

© 2013 AFP

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