UN calls for maximum restraint in Egypt

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United Nations, Aug 16: The UN Security Council on Thursday called on all parties in Egypt to "exercise maximum restraint" and put an end to violence after over 500 people were killed in clashes between security forces and protesters seeking deposed president Mohamed Morsi's reinstatement.

"The view of council members is that it is important to end violence in Egypt and that the parties exercise maximum restraint," said Maria Cristina Perceval, the Argentine permanent representative to the United Nations who holds the rotating council presidency for August, Xinhua reported.

Perceval made the remarks after emerging from a closed-door council meeting on the current situation in Egypt.

The meeting, held at a joint request from council members France, Britain and Australia, on Thursday evening, was briefed by UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson.

Eliasson told reporters that "the position of the UN has been well expressed in the secretary-general's statement of yesterday (Wednesday). And I was building my briefing on that".

In Chilmark

President Barack Obama makes a statement to the media regarding events in Egypt, from his rental vacation home in Chilmark Mass. on the island of Martha's Vineyard on Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013. In the statement Obama stated that U.S.-Egypt military exercises scheduled for next month have been cancelled due to the recent killing of civilians there.

Egyptian relatives and colleagues of policemen

Egyptian relatives and colleagues of policemen who were killed during Wednesday's clashes carry coffins, covered with national flags during a military funeral in Cairo, Egypt on Thursday.

Clashes take a violent turn

Supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi surround a burning police car during clashes with Egyptian security forces in Cairo's Mohandessin neighborhood, Egypt on Wednesday.

In support of Mohammed Morsi

Egyptian security forces detain supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi as they clear a sit-in camp set up near Cairo University in Cairo's Giza district.

An act of violence

A supporter of ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi carries wood to burn in a fire barricade at the sit-in at Rabaa Al-Adawiya Square in Cairo's Nasr City district on Aug. 14, 2013.

Injured

Supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi carry another as Egyptian security forces clear a sit-in camp set up near Cairo University in Cairo's Giza district on Aug. 14, 2013.

Egyptian security forces clear the camp in Cairo

Smoke rises from a building by a sit-in camp, set up by supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi near Cairo University as Egyptian security forces clear the camp in Cairo's Giza district on Aug. 14, 2013.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who is on a visit to the Middle East, has strongly condemned the violence arising from the operations, and called upon all parties in Egypt to reconsider their actions in light of the new political realities in order to save the country from further disaster.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged the UN Security Council to convene quickly on Egypt.

The Egyptian security forces on Wednesday cleared two sit-in camps in the Egyptian capital Cairo, which were occupied by supporters of Morsi, demanding his return to power, resulting in deadly clashes with at least 525 deaths and 3,717 injured (reported the Egyptian health ministry).

Hours after the raids on the camps, Egypt's interim government declared a state of emergency nationwide for one month, imposing a curfew on Cairo and 10 provinces and allowing security forces to arrest and detain civilians indefinitely without charges.

Morsi was ousted by popular-backed military procedures in early July and he has been detained ever since.

IANS

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