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Morsi must listen to Egyptians – UN

02 July 2013, 15:33

Geneva - The UN human rights office called on President Mohammed Morsi on Tuesday to listen to the demands of the Egyptian people and engage in a "serious national dialogue" to defuse the political crisis.

Rupert Colville, spokesperson of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, also said the role of the military, which gave Morsi a 48-hour ultimatum on Monday to resolve the impasse after mass anti-government protests, was crucial.

"We call on the president of Egypt to listen to the demands and wishes of the Egyptian people expressed during these huge protests over the past few days, and to address key issues raised by the opposition and by civil society in recent months," he told a news briefing in Geneva.

"We urge all political parties and social groups in Egypt to urgently engage in a serious national dialogue in order to find a solution to the political crisis and prevent an escalation of violence."

Asked about the role of the military, Colville said: "We're talking hopefully about a newly developing democracy in Egypt, so obviously what the military does or doesn't do is crucial. Nothing should be done that would undermine democratic processes in the country."

Morsi has rebuffed the army ultimatum to force a resolution, saying on Tuesday he had not been consulted and would pursue his own plans for national reconciliation.

"Egypt's democracy is obviously very fragile and nobody wants to see it collapse or fall apart in some way," Colville told Reuters Television.

- Reuters


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