CAIRO (AP) — Egypt's military says it will not allow the country to fall into "a dark tunnel" of violent conflict.
In a statement read on state TV today, the military said serious dialogue is the "best and only" way to overcome the nation's deepening political dispute and warned of "disastrous consequences" otherwise.
The spiritual leader of Egypt's fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood also is urging Egyptians to disown violence, saying that working through the ballot box is the best way to lift the country out of its current political crisis.
Protests over the president's powers and a draft constitution rushed together by his Islamist allies turned into deadly street clashes this week.
President Mohammed Morsi has called for a national dialogue but opponents say he must first cancel a Dec. 15 referendum on a contentious draft constitution and rescind decrees granting him immunity from any oversight.