“This is a pivotal moment for all Egyptians,” said Kerry, who spoke by phone with the foreign minister. “The path toward violence leads only to greater instability, economic disaster and suffering.”
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s office called it “a serious blow to the hopes of a return to democracy,” while Iran warned that the violence “strengthens the possibility of civil war.”
British Prime Minister David Cameron, who also condemned the violence, called for “a genuine transition to a genuine democracy. That means compromise from all sides — the President Morsi supporters but also the military.”
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged all Egyptians to focus on reconciliation, while European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said dialogue should be encouraged through “peaceful protest, protecting all citizens and enabling full political participation.”
At least 250 people have died in previous clashes since the coup.
Morsi, Egypt’s first freely elected president, had just completed a year in office when he was toppled. He has largely been held incommunicado but was visited by Ashton and an African delegation.
Several bids by the U.S., the European Union and Gulf Arab states to reconcile the two sides in Egypt in an inclusive political process have failed, with the Brotherhood insisting that Morsi must first be freed along with several of the group’s leaders who have been detained in connection with incitement of violence.
The trial of the Brotherhood’s leader, Mohammed Badie, and his powerful deputy, Khairat el-Shater, on charges of conspiring to kill protesters is due to start later this month. Badie is on the run, but el-Shater is in detention. Four others are standing trial with them on the same charges.