Egypt′s interim leader urges reconciliation as protests, violence continue | News | DW | 22.07.2013
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Egypt's interim leader urges reconciliation as protests, violence continue

Egypt’s interim head of state has used a televised speech to appeal for national reconciliation. This came amid more violence between supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi and the opposition.

Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi shout slogans in front of the courthouse and the Attorney General's office during a demonstration in Cairo July 22, 2013. The family of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi said on Monday it would take legal action against the army, accusing it of abducting the country's first democratically-elected president. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh (EGYPT - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST RELIGION)

Kairo Proteste

Interim President Adly Mansour made the appeal during the speech on Monday night, timed to mark the anniversary of Egypt's revolution, which overthrew the country's 150-year-old monarchy on July 23, 1952.

"We want to open a new page in the book of the history of the nation without rancour, hatred or confrontation," Mansour said. "It's high time to build a country that has reconciled with the past in order to build the future."

As the interim president appealed for calm and reconciliation, violence broke out in Cairo, when supporters of ousted President Morsi approached Tahrir Square, where his opponents have been holding demonstrations. Clashes between the two camps were also reported in a town north of the capital. At least six people were killed and dozens of others wounded in the latest violence.

Morsi's supporters have been holding demonstrations to demand that he be reinstated ever since he was removed from office on July 3. On Monday, some gathered outside the Attorney General's office in Cairo (pictured above) to protest.

This came just hours after Morsi's family held a press conference to accuse the head of the army, Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, of having kidnapped the ousted head of state. Morsi has not been seen since early this month, when the military seized power from the Islamist but democratically elected president.

"We accuse al-Sissi and the group that supported the coup of kidnapping the citizen and the president, Mohammed Morsi," Morsi's son Osama told a press conference in Cairo.

He also said the family did not know his whereabouts and had not been able to communicate with him since he was ousted from office.

Morsi's daughter, Shaimaa Mohamed Morsi, said the family was planning to take the matter to court.

"We are taking local and international legal measures against Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the leader of the bloody military coup, and his putschist group," she said.

Government officials have said the former president was being held at an undisclosed location and is being held for his own protection.

The situation in Egypt continues to concern the international community. European Union foreign ministers have issued a call for the country's leaders to release "all political detainees."

On Monday, White House spokesman Jay Carney struck a similar tone.

"We believe his [Morsi's] situation needs to be resolved in a way that is consistent with the rule of law and due process and allows for his personal security," Carney said.

pfd/jr (Reuters, AP, AFP, dpa)