2011-03-11 10:02:00

Moscow urges interreligious dialogue in Egypt to prevent violence

Moscow, March 11, Interfax - Moscow hopes that Egypt's Copts and Muslims will settle their differences peacefully and will refrain from escalating violence.

"Unfortunately, there have been conflicts between Egypt's Christian and Muslim communities before. We hope the incident will be settled within the framework of the law and through inter-confessional dialogue," the Russian Foreign Ministry said on its website, following clashes between Copts and Muslims in Cairo.

The ministry stressed the significance of public accord and national unity for the success of sweeping political reforms under way in Egypt.

At least 13 people were killed and about 100 others were wounded in clashes that erupted in Cairo on March 9.

Earlier, the BBC reported that hundreds of men armed with knives attacked demonstrators at Tahrir square on Tuesday night.

Eye-witnesses say the attackers demanded that the demonstrators move their sit-in strike outside the square. After that, both sides attacked each other with stones and knives.