BRUSSELS, Dec 05, 2012 (AFP) -
BRUSSELS, Dec 05, 2012 (AFP) –
The European Union’s diplomatic chief called for “calm and restraint” Wednesday as supporters and opponents of Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi clashed over his decision to expand his powers.
“I urge calm and restraint on all sides. It is of utmost importance that Egypt continues the democratic transition it has embarked upon and that confidence and trust in the process be restored,” Catherine Ashton said in a statement.
“I call on all relevant parties to engage urgently in an inclusive dialogue based on consensus and joint ownership,” she added.
“The EU stands by its support to Egypt’s democratic transition and urges it to continue along this path.”
The appeal came as supporters and opponents of Morsi lobbed Molotov cocktails and rocks at each other near the presidential palace in Cairo, as the political battle over a presidential decree on November 22 turned violent.
Protesters also torched the offices of the powerful Muslim Brotherhood in the Mediterranean port city of Ismailiya and in Suez, witnesses said.
Morsi’s decree expanded his powers and allowed him to put to a referendum a disputed constitution drafted by Islamists.