Egypt: Oil prices soar; world leaders seek democracy back

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Singapore, July 4: Oil prices rose sharply in Asian trade on Wednesday on growing concerns that the escalating political crisis in Egypt could affect the rest of the Middle East and disrupt world crude supplies, analysts said.

New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) light sweet crude for delivery in August, was up USD 2.20 at USD 101.80 a barrel in mid-morning trade, while Brent North Sea crude for August gained USD 1.11 to USD 105.11.

WTI had jumped USD 1.


World leaders ask army to restore democracy in Egypt

Cairo/Washington, July 4: World leaders today reacted cautiously to the political upheaval in Egypt that saw the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi, asking the Egyptian military to rapidly restore democracy. US President Barack Obama democracy."We are deeply concerned by the decision of the Egyptian Armed Forces said in a statement.

"I now call on the Egyptian military to move quickly and responsibly to return full authority back to a democratically elected civilian government as soon as possible through an inclusive and transparent process, and to avoid any arbitrary arrests of President Morsi and his supporters," he said. He also directed the relevant departments and agencies to review the implications under US law for our assistance to the Government of Egypt.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said, "The situation is clearly dangerous and we call on all sides to show restraint and avoid violence."The United Kingdom does not support military intervention as a way to resolve disputes in a democratic system, he said.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for calm, non-violence, dialogue and restraint. "At this moment of continued high tension and uncertainty in the country, the secretary-general reiterates his appeals for calm, non-violence, dialogue and restraint.

"An inclusive approach is essential to addressing the needs and concerns of all Egyptians. Preservation of fundamental rights, including freedom of speech and assembly remain of vital importance," Ban said.

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton asked "all sides to rapidly return to the democratic process, including the holding of free and fair presidential and parliamentary elections and the approval of a constitution, to be done in a fully inclusive manner, so as to permit the country to resume and complete its democratic transition."

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Paris took note that elections had been announced in Egypt following a transition period."In a situation that has worsened seriously and with extreme tension in Egypt, new elections have finally been announced, after a transition period," Fabius said in a statement. "France takes note of it."

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