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Cameron issues peace plea to Egypt

Army troops in front of the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt (AP/Ahmed Gomaa)
Army troops in front of the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt (AP/Ahmed Gomaa)

Prime Minister David Cameron has issued a plea for an end to violence in Egypt, as deadly political unrest continued to grip the country.

As the clock ticked towards a deadline set by the Egyptian military for an end to the crisis, Mr Cameron told the House of Commons that the administration of president Mohammed Morsi must show it is responsive to the concerns of its citizens.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is recommending against all but essential travel to most parts of Egypt, following widespread protests against Mr Morsi which have led to the deaths of at least 23 people and injuries to 200 more.

Mr Cameron assured MPs in the Commons that action was being taken to safeguard UK nationals in Egypt and the British Embassy in Cairo.

"These are deeply disturbing scenes, the level of violence is appalling," said the Prime Minister. "We should appeal to all sides to stay calm and stop the levels of violence, and particularly sexual assaults."

Mr Cameron added: "It is not for this country to support any single group or party. What we should support is proper democratic processes and proper government by consent.

"Very clear messages have been sent to president Morsi - including by president Obama who spoke to him directly, and we have also been communicating through our ambassadors - that, yes, he has a democratic mandate and we respect that, but democracy also means ensuring that everyone has a voice and that leaders have a responsibility to represent all Egyptians and show they are responsive to their concerns.

"That's what the government needs to do in order to bring about peace and stability in that country."

The FCO is advising against travel to all regions of Egypt except resorts on the Red Sea in South Sinai and in the Red Sea Governorate on the Egyptian mainland.

There are no travel restriction warnings for destinations in the region of Sharm el Sheikh, Taba, Nuweiba and Dahab which are popular with sun-seeking British tourists. The FCO also deems safe the St Catherine's Monastery World Heritage Site, road travel between and from Red Sea resorts to the monastery approaching from the east, and transfers between the resorts and airports of Taba and Sharm el Sheikh.

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