UN, August 18 (RIA Novosti) - United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged the conflicting sides in Egypt to shift to de-escalation and to immediately put an end to violence, his press service said on a statement.
“The Secretary-General believes that preventing further loss of life should be the Egyptians' highest priority at this dangerous moment,” the statement said. “He urges those in the street and those in authority to use maximum restraint and shift immediately to de-escalation.”
The statement also said that Ban Ki-moon “appeals to the authorities and to the political leaders to adopt a credible plan to contain the violence and revive the political process hijacked by violence.”
Over 600 people were killed in Egypt’s clashes between supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi and security forces, which began removing camps of pro-Morsi protesters earlier in the week.
Morsi narrowly won the May 2012 presidential election, which followed a revolution that ousted his authoritarian predecessor, Hosni Mubarak. But Morsi was removed from the office in July in a military coup that came after months of street protests by opponents.
The presidential ouster has polarized the country, with Morsi’s supporters replacing his opponents in the streets. The military has declared a nationwide state of emergency in an attempt to stop the violence.