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China urges dialogue among Egyptian parties

Updated: 2013-07-04 20:01
( Xinhua)

BEIJING - Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying on Thursday urged concerned parties in Egypt to resolve differences through dialogue and consultation, saying that China respects the choice of the Egyptian people.

Hua's remarks at a regular press conference came after latest reports said the Egyptian army has replaced President Mohamed Morsi with the head of the Supreme Constitutional Court to run the country for a transitional period. The army also suspended the constitution backed by Morsi's supporters.

When asked about Egypt's situation and how it would influence relations between the two countries, Hua said China attaches great importance to Egypt's situation and noted that China respects the choice of the Egyptian people.

"We hope parties concerned in Egypt avoid resorting to violence and resolve their differences through dialogue and consultation as soon as possible, in order to realize reconciliation and social stability," she said.

Hua stressed that China and Egypt enjoy a profound friendship, and no matter how the situation evolves, the friendly cooperation between the two countries will never change.

Morsi was reportedly under house arrest as of early Thursday after he refused to accept the army's 48-hour deadline to either step down or call for early elections, as demanded by  protesters unhappy with his policies over the past year since he took office, according to Egypt's official newspaper Al-Ahram.

Millions of Egyptians have been flocking since Sunday to major squares across the country to join anti- and pro-Morsi demonstrations.

Hua said the Chinese Embassy in Egypt has been closely following the situation since the start of the turmoil and has started an emergency response to safeguard the safety, rights and interests of Chinese citizens and institutions there.

The embassy has published consular alerts on its website to warn Chinese citizens to carefully consider their travel plans to Egypt and urged those already there to exercise caution, said Hua.

The spokeswoman said she has not received any reports of casualties of Chinese citizens so far.