Paris - Egypt's bloody crackdown on supporters of ousted
president Mohammed Morsi triggered widespread condemnation on Wednesday as the
international community reacted with alarm to the deepening crisis.
Europe's leading powers along with Iran, Qatar and Turkey
strongly denounced the use of force by the military-backed interim government
to clear two protest camps in Cairo.
The action has resulted in more than 120 deaths, according
to AFP reporters at the scene.
"I am deeply concerned at the escalating violence and
unrest in Egypt," British Foreign Secretary William Hague said in a
statement. "I condemn the use of force in clearing protests and call on
the security forces to act with restraint."
Qatar, a main backer of the pro-Morsi Muslim Brotherhood,
issued a similar message.
"Qatar strongly denounces the means by which peaceful
protesters in Rabaa al-Adawiya camp and Al-Nahda square have been dealt with
and which led to the killing of several unarmed innocent people among
them," a foreign ministry spokesman said in a statement published on the
official QNA agency.
Turkey - which had developed strong ties with Morsi's
government - urged the international community to act immediately over what it
said was an "unacceptable" response to the protests.
"The international community, particularly the UN
Security Council and Arab League, must act immediately to stop this
massacre," the prime minister's office said in a statement.
Iran also termed the crackdown a "massacre".
"Iran is following the bitter events in Egypt closely,
disapproves of the violent actions, condemns the massacre of the population and
warns of the serious consequences," the foreign ministry said in a
France and Germany refrained from apportioning blame for the
crisis, calling for calm from both sides.
"It is essential that this violence cease and that a
sense of calm prevails," a French foreign ministry statement said.
"France calls on all parties to show the greatest restraint and warns
against the disproportionate use of force.
"Emerging from this crisis can only be achieved through
a political solution, which involves everyone promoting dialogue and the search
for a compromise.
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said: "We
call on all political forces to return immediately to negotiations and avert an
escalation of violence.
"All further bloodshed must be prevented."
The European Union also appealed for restraint, with EU
foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton's spokesperson saying:
"Confrontation and violence are not the way forward."
There was no immediate reaction from the United States to
Wednesday's bloodshed in the Arab world's most populous country.
Washington has given the interim regime in Egypt qualified
backing, refusing to declare July's ouster of Morsi a coup while calling for a
swift return to civilian rule.
A State Department spokesperson on Tuesday urged the
Egyptian authorities to allow Morsi supporters to protest freely but stopped
short of outright condemnation of the crackdown.