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