Ousting of Morsi must be followed by 'proactive' reconciliation

The path of reconciliation and unity is the only way forward for Egypt after the ousting of President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, says the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the UK.

In a statement, Bishop Angaelos said the people of Egypt were seeking "dignity" and "social justice".

He expressed his sympathy for those not on the side of Egypt's second revolution in two years, and said it was important that the country find ways of "embracing" them as "valued" members of the wider community, rather than allowing them to be marginalised.

Bishop Angaelos appealed to Egypt to pursue reconciliation and unity as "the only way ahead" for the country.

"The scenes of rejoicing and jubilation in Egypt's squares must now be followed by an intentional and proactive programme of reconciliation among all parties," he said.

He continued: "Years of fragmentation, distrust, anger, and resentment, must be healed, and this will only happen when those who are now given the opportunity to lead Egypt, both in the short and long term, make the resolution of these negative experiences a priority and aim to achieve it."

The bishop said he was praying that there would be no more bloodshed and that the coming weeks would not see a spread of violence.

"The next weeks and months will be crucial, needing the support of every Egyptian and guiding him or her to no longer think in terms of tribes or separation, but rather in terms of unity and collaboration for the good of all," he said.

"We pray for peace and prosperity in Egypt and for every Egyptian, we pray for reconciliation and healing within and between communities, so that no one feels marginalised, victimised or rejected by any part of this greater family.

"I am confident that the people of Egypt seek, and will find, the peace that embraces all and that welcomes all once again into a joy that can be shared."