A prominent opposition leader on Friday stressed preconditions for any dialogue with President Mohamed Morsi to ease Egypt's dire political crisis, notably that Morsi postpone a referendum on a new constitution.
Mohamed ElBaradei, a former U.N. atomic agency chief and Nobel peace prize winner, also called on Morsi to "repeal the decree" announced two weeks ago giving him sweeping new powers, saying "he can do this immediately, tonight."
"If Morsi takes these steps, I know there will be a way, through dialogue and mutual understanding, for all of Egypt, Islamic and Christian, to sit together," ElBaradei said in a televised address on a private satellite channel.
"I know there will be a response from all sides," he added, after more than 10,000 Morsi opponents descended on the presidential palace in Cairo calling for Morsi to step down.
Egypt's worst crisis since Morsi's election in June has seen violent clashes this week between his allies and foes which have killed seven people and injured more than 600.
ElBaradei appealed for calm and urged that protests remain peaceful.
"I call on everyone not to enter bloody battles. We cannot allow Egyptian blood to be split again and must find a peaceful way out of this crisis," he said.
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