France asks Saudi, Qatari help on Egypt

French President Francois Hollande has called on Saudi Arabia and Qatar to help find a peaceful solution to the worsening political crisis in Egypt.

Hollande made the remarks on Sunday in Paris as Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal and Qatari Foreign Minister Khaled al-Attiyah visited the French capital.

Since August 14, Egyptian security forces have killed more than 800 people in a brutal crackdown on supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi. Saudi Arabia has supported the crackdown on pro-Morsi supporters, but Qatar has strongly condemned it.

During a meeting with the Saudi foreign minister, Hollande said that it is the “duty” of countries that have “a relationship of trust and friendship (with Egypt) to end the violence” so that political dialogue process can start.

“It is unacceptable that there is violence of this level in a great country like Egypt,” he added.

Hollande also stated that it is the “shared responsibility” of Arab and European countries to ensure the authorities in Egypt “allow the holding of elections within a short time frame”.

Earlier in the day, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius met with his Qatari counterpart and emphasized on the need for “dialogue” in Egypt.

“What’s evident to everyone who’s following the situation in Egypt is how quickly the bloodshed needs to be stopped…. It’s not easy but all countries must advance in that direction,” Fabius said after meeting Attiyah.

“It’s important we mobilize our energy so that Egyptians find a solution,” Fabius added.

Meanwhile, the Qatari foreign minister called for a “dialogue between all Egyptians”, but insisted that “it is necessary that political prisoners are released to achieve a solution.”

Saudi Arabia, which was a close ally of former Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak, pledged five billion US dollars in aid to Egypt after Morsi was ousted in a military coup last month.

Saudi King Abdullah was also the first foreign head of state to congratulate Adly Mansour, hours after the military declared him Egypt’s interim president.

Three other Persian Gulf Arab states — the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Kuwait — have already echoed Saudi Arabia’s stance on Egypt.

Qatar, which is a key supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood, has so far been the only Arab state of the Persian Gulf to forcefully denounce the killings of Å“unarmed innocent people.”

On Friday, tens of thousands of people took to the streets across Egypt in response to a call by the Muslim Brotherhood for nationwide protests on the Å“Friday of Rage” against the army and its handpicked government.

The security forces and opponents of the Brotherhood fired on the supporters of Morsi, leaving at least 173 people dead and some 1,330 more injured across Egypt.

On August 14, the government launched a brutal crackdown on thousands of peaceful protesters in Cairo demanding the reinstatement of Morsi, leaving about 640 dead and hundreds of others injured.

The interim government in Egypt has been facing international condemnation over the killing of protesters. Amnesty International has called for a thorough and unbiased investigation into the August 14 massacre.

Tension has intensified in Egypt since July 3, when army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi removed Morsi from office, suspended the constitution and dissolved the parliament.


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Republished from: Press TV