PARIS: France on Saturday denounced what it termed the excessive use of force against protesters by Egyptian authorities after clashes in Cairo left nine people dead and about 300 wounded.
"France is worried about the violent incidents that have taken place on Tahrir Square in Cairo," a foreign ministry statement said, adding that Paris "denounces the violence and excessive use of force against protesters."
France "calls for calm, responsibility and respect for human rights, including the right to protest," the ministry said.
The violence is the most serious since 42 people were killed, mainly in Cairo, in November clashes between anti-army demonstrators and police ahead of Egypt’s first parliamentary elections since Hosni Mubarak’s ouster.
The French foreign ministry restated its hopes for a peaceful transition to democracy "where violence has no place."