Carter 'deeply concerned' over Egypt violence

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Former US President Jimmy Carter called for calm in Egypt on Saturday, warning that the escalating violence was jeopardizing any hope of future reconciliation.

More than 750 people have died in four days of violence this week after a bloody crackdown in Cairo on supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Mursi.

The bloodshed has been widely condemned by the international community, and Mr Carter urged Egyptian security forces to show greater restraint.

"I am deeply concerned that the ongoing violence in Egypt is rapidly eroding the chances for dialogue and a road to reconciliation," Mr Carter said in a statement.

"The recent confrontations have already resulted in hundreds of deaths, and turning against one another will only lead to more pain and suffering."

Mr Carter called on Egyptian security forces to "remain within reasonable limitations" and to show a "fundamental respect for the human rights," of their compatriots.

President Barack Obama has faced criticism in the United States for his handling of the Egypt crisis. He has resisted cutting aid to Egypt's military.

A recent Washington Post editorial said Mr Obama's administration had been "complicit" in the crackdown because it had shown to Egypt's rulers "that its warnings were not credible."

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