Foreign Secretary William Hague has made a direct appeal to the Egyptian authorities to release ousted president Mohammed Morsi.
In a phone call with Egyptian vice president for foreign affairs, Mr Hague stressed the need for dialogue and reconciliation between all political parties including Mr Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood.
The Foreign Secretary also condemned the excessive use of force by security services as well as attacks against them.
Mr Hague said: "I welcomed Vice President El Baradei's commitment to an inclusive political transition in Egypt, involving all political groups.
"We want to see a peaceful resolution that will bring an urgent end to the current bloodshed. In my view, this should involve a process of dialogue and reconciliation between all political parties in Egypt, including the Muslim Brotherhood.
"I raised my concerns about the current situation, particularly the killing by security forces of over 80 civilians last weekend. I made clear that the UK condemned this excessive use of force, along with the attacks against security forces in Sinai, Mansoura and elsewhere.
"I also called for the release of all political detainees, including President Morsi, unless there are criminal charges to be made against them, and emphasised that it is vital that any charges are not politically motivated."