CAIRO, July 23 (UPI) -- Egyptians need a justice system in place to ensure national reconciliation can open the door to political reform, interim Vice President Mohamed ElBaradei said.
Political violence in Egypt is in its third week. Protests turned violent when the Egyptian military removed former President Mohamed Morsi from power July 3.
Egyptian prosecutors opened an investigation into clashes between pro-Morsi supporters and the military, which has left more than 50 people dead.
ElBaradei, a Nobel Peace Prize recipient, said justice and reconciliation are the only means of resolving Egypt's political crisis.
"The sooner we realize this the more lives will be saved," he was quoted by al-Ahram as saying Tuesday.
Morsi became the first democratically elected president in Egyptian history in June 2012. ElBaredei stayed largely on the sidelines as an opposition figure during the post-revolutionary period before the election.
The Egyptian military is accused of holding Morsi captive. He's not been seen in public since his ouster.
Western governments have been reluctant to categorize the ouster as a military coup. U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the situation in Egypt is "very complex."
A coup declaration would inhibit foreign aid to Egypt. The British government last week said it was restricting some military assistance in response to the unrest.