Japanese FM urges Egypt to settle unrest peacefully

14:12, January 30, 2011      

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Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara on Sunday called on the Egyptian government to settle ongoing political unrest peacefully.

"Japan strongly hopes the Egyptian government and the people restrain violent action and create a stable government through dialogue," said Maehara at a meeting with Egyptian Ambassador to Japan Walid Mahmoud Abdelnasser in Tokyo.

Maehara also asked Abdelnasser to assist some 500 Japanese tourists who have been stranded in Egypt and elsewhere due to cancellations of EgyptAir flights bound for Narita and Kansai airports, Kyodo News reported.

Japan was deeply concerned about the casualties caused by the clashes between demonstrators and security forces in various cities across Egypt and called on the Egyptian government and people to refrain from any violence, Maehara said in a statement issued on Saturday.

On Friday, tens of thousands of anti-government demonstrators took to the streets across Egypt. The massive crowds overwhelmed police forces in Cairo and other cities around the nation, attacking them with rocks and firebombs.

Police have primarily used countless canisters of tear gas to disperse the crowds and beat them back with batons and sticks.

Demonstrations turned into riots on Saturday in Cairo and other major governorates, where government buildings have been robbed by looters and clashes between protesters and policemen have led to deaths of people.

Egypt's cabinet officially resigned on Saturday during a meeting following Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's call for them to step down, Nile television station reported.

Source: Xinhua

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