International leaders have condemned the use of violence by the security forces in a crackdown on protests in support of ousted President Mohammed Mursi which has killed scores of people on Wednesday.
Turkey urged the international community to act immediately over what it called a “massacre” in Egypt, and voiced fears that Egypt could descend into a situation similar to the conflict in Syria.
Turkey’s President Abdullah Gulsaid said the armed intervention was “completely unacceptable.”
“Armed intervention on civilians, on people demonstrating…This is completely unacceptable,” Gul told reporters in the capital Ankara.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s office said the international community’s silence over the Egypt crisis was to blame.
“It’s clearly seen that the international community’s support for the military coup and its silence to previous massacres ... has encouraged the current administration for today’s intervention,” Erdogan’s office said.
Iran also condemned the “massacre,” warning that it would increase the likelihood of civil war, Reuters reported.
Qatar “strongly denounces” the use of violence against Egyptian protesters, and told security forces to “preserve the lives of Egyptians at protest sites,” according to official statements.
The European Union said on Wednesday that reports that protesters had been killed were “extremely worrying” and called for restraint from Egyptian authorities.
“The reports of deaths and injuries are extremely worrying,” Michael Mann, a spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said. “We reiterate that violence won’t lead to any solution and we urge the Egyptian authorities to proceed with utmost restraint.”
Britain also expressed concern over the use of force to clear the protest camps, AFP reported.
“I am deeply concerned at the escalating violence and unrest in Egypt,” 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.”
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle added his voice to calls for an end to violence from both sides.
“We call on all political forces to return immediately to negotiations and avert an escalation of violence,” he told reporters. “All further bloodshed must be prevented.”
“We urge the interim government and the Egyptian authorities to allow peaceful protests and at the same time we expect from the other forces that they distance themselves from violence, do not call for violence and do not use violence,” he said.
Westerwelle urged all sides to “return to a political process that includes all political forces.”
(With Reuters and AFP)