Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, billed to visit France Friday, has canceled his trip to deal with ongoing riots in his country, PANA learnt from official sources.
Violence erupted in Egypt on the occasion of the commemoration of the second anniversary of the Revolution and after the announcement of the verdict in the trial of rioters at the Port Said Stadium on 1 February, 2012.
This followed an Egyptian premier league football match between Al-Masry and Al-Ahly clubs.
At least 79 people were killed and more than 1,000 injured after thousands of Al-Masry spectators stormed the stadium stands and the pitch, following a 3–1 victory by Al-Masry.
Al-Masry fans violently attacked Al-Ahly fans, and also the club’s fleeing players, using knives, swords, clubs, stones, bottles, and fireworks as weapons.
The opposition has called for a new demonstration on Friday.
France, who deplored the heavy human toll during the violence, has renewed its commitment to respect the right to protest, which must be both secured and controlled to avert unrest.
“As new institutions are set up, France calls for dialogue between all components of the Egyptian society in respect of the ideals enshrined by the Revolution,” a top French official said Monday.
President Morsi, who cancelled what should have been his first trip to France, and his French counterpart, François Hollande, were expected to discuss relations between the two countries and other burning issues in the region.
Among the issues to be addressed is the situation in Mali where France and other African countries are waging a war against armed Islamist groups in northern Mali.
Morsi recently slammed the French military intervention in Mali, saying such an intervention was likely to stir up tension in Africa and isolate the Arab North region from the rest of the continent .