World
Canadian government urges calm in Egypt

Protesters, who are against Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi, set-off fireworks as they gather in Tahrir Square in Cairo July 3, 2013.

Credits: REUTERS

JESSICA MURPHY | QMI AGENCY

OTTAWA - Canada is urging calm in Egypt after the country's military toppled President Mohamed Morsi's government Wednesday.

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird called on all the parties to avoid violence and "engage in meaningful dialogue" in the wake of news that rocked the largest Arab country in the Mideast.

"This is important not only for Egypt but, given Egypt's influence, for the whole region, as well," Baird said in a statement from Beijing, where he's on an official visit.

"Canada firmly believes that implementing a transparent democratic system that respects the voices of its citizens, and that encourages and respects the contributions of civil society and all other segments of the population, including religious minorities, is the best way to restore calm and give all Egyptians a stake in the future stability and prosperity of Egypt."

The NDP echoed the government's call for calm on the streets of Egypt, saying in a statement, "The solution to this crisis must be a political one that respects the democratic aspirations of the Egyptian people."

Following days of massive protests on the streets of Egypt, the military announced it had overthrown the Islamist president, suspended the constitution and was implementing a political transition to democratic rule.

The army had given Morsi a 48-hour deadline to yield to mass opposition demands or to step down after just one year in power.

Canada temporarily shuttered its embassy in Cairo on Tuesday over security concerns amid the widespread anti-government protests.

The government is also advising against all non-essential travel to the Mideast country.

Some 1,900 Canadians have registered with consular officials in Egypt.

-with files from Reuters

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