By JENNIFER EPSTEIN |POLITICO |December 6, 2012
President Obama called Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi on Thursday to voice his “deep concern” about the deaths and injuries of protesters challenging his government.
Obama “emphasized that all political leaders in Egypt should make clear to their supporters that violence is unacceptable,” the White House said in a readout of the call, which came after thousands protested outside Morsi’s Cairo palace. At least six people were killed and close to 700 were injured, The Associated Press reported.
Obama welcomed Morsi’s call for talks with his opposition “but stressed that such a dialogue should occur without preconditions” and said the Obama administration is conveying the same message to the opposition, which has said it would not enter into dialogue with Morsi unless he rescinds decrees that give him nearly unlimited powers.
The United States continues to support the Egyptian people and “their transition to a democracy that respects the rights of all Egyptians,” Obama said, but Egyptian leaders “across the political spectrum to put aside their differences and come together to agree on a path that will move Egypt forward.”