PARIS - French President Francois Hollande summoned Egypt's ambassador on Thursday, demanding a quick end to the state of emergency imposed by the military authorities and urging the release of prisoners as a first step towards renewing dialogue.
Hollande relayed France's "very serious concern" about Wednesday's security crackdown on supporters of Egypt's deposed Islamist President Mohamed Morsi and "underlined that the state of emergency must be quickly lifted."
"He firmly condemned the bloody violence in Egypt and demanded an immediate halt to the crackdown," the Elysee Palace said in a statement. "The head of state asserted that everything must be done to avoid civil war. Freeing prisoners, in respect of legal proceedings, could be a first step towards the resumption of talks."