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Dec 07, 2012 at 11:26am IST

Obama calls Morsi, expresses concern over Egypt deaths, urges fair dialogue

Washington: US President Barack Obama called his Egyptian counterpart Mohamed Morsi expressing concern over death of protesters and emphasised on ending violence. "The President emphasised that all political leaders in Egypt should make clear to their supporters that violence is unacceptable," White House said on Thursday after the phone call, noting Obama expressed his deep concern about the deaths and injuries of protesters in Egypt.

"He welcomed President Morsi's call for a dialogue with the opposition but stressed that such a dialogue should occur without preconditions," White House said, adding, Obama noted that the United States has also urged opposition leaders to join in this dialogue without preconditions. During the phone call, Obama reiterated its continued support for the Egyptian people and their transition to a democracy that respects the rights of all Egyptians.

"The President underscored that it is essential for Egyptian leaders across the political spectrum to put aside their differences and come together to agree on a path that will move Egypt forward," White House said. Earlier in the day, the United States deplored the violence in Egypt.

Obama calls Morsi over Egypt deaths

US is maintaining regular dialogue with the Egyptian government as well as political leaders at all levels.

"We deplore the violence between rival groups of demonstrators that reportedly killed five people and injured hundreds last night as well as early this morning," the State Department spokesman, Mark Toner, said, calling on all Egyptian political leaders to lead by example in condemning these acts. "As Egyptians on both sides of these issues continue to express their views, we obviously look to the Government of Egypt to respect the freedoms of peaceful expression and assembly and to exercise restraint," he said.

Referring to a statement made by the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a day earlier, Toner said that this kind of upheaval being seen in Egypt indicates that dialogue is urgently needed. "We need to see that dialogue is in place. It's obvious that Egyptians have strong opinions regarding recent actions as well as the substance of the draft constitution, and we obviously need to see a dialogue in place as soon as possible to address their concerns," he said.

US is maintaining regular dialogue both with the Egyptian government as well as all of the political leaders at all levels from across the political spectrum, Toner added.