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Kerry, Ashton worried about Egypt

Kerry, Ashton worried about Egypt
EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton shields her eyes from the sun as she visits the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), in Gaza City, January. 25, 2012. Ashton was on a 3-day visit to Israel and Palestinian territories, part of her ongoing efforts to encourage the two sides to resume negotiations. UPI/Ismael Mohamad. | License Photo

BRUSSELS, Aug. 8 (UPI) -- The U.S. and European governments are concerned about the potential for further bloodshed during the political crisis in Egypt, a joint statement said.

U.S. and European diplomats have been in Cairo in an effort to find a peaceful resolution to a political crisis brewing since July. Scores of Egyptians have died as a result of the political violence in the wake of the July military ouster of President Mohamed Morsi.

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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Catherine Ashton, the top foreign policy chief for the European Union, issued a joint statement Wednesday expressing concern about the political situation.

"We remain concerned and troubled that government and opposition leaders have not yet found a way to break a dangerous stalemate and agree to implement tangible confidence building measures," their statement read.

Ashton met with Morsi in prison during her visit to Egypt last month. Morsi's political backers, the Muslim Brotherhood, have rejected some of the reconciliation efforts offered by military leaders assuming control in the wake of the upheaval.

"This is a moment for leadership, vision, and magnanimity -- a unifying moment when Egyptians should look ahead at what is at risk and what they have to gain through genuine reconciliation," the U.S. and European leaders said.

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