Brussels, July 23: Armed forces should not play a political role in a democracy, the Foreign Affairs Council of the European Union (EU) has said, referring to the ongoing political crisis in Egypt.
"They (armed forces) must accept and respect the constitutional authority of civilian power as a basic principle of democratic governance," Xinhua quoted a statement as saying.
It said the EU calls on all parties to refrain from violence and reiterates condolences to the families of all those victims in recent incidents in Egypt.
It said the EU "greatly values" its relationship with Egypt.
The foreign ministers also agreed on the fact that Egypt has to move rapidly to "an inclusive democratic transformation process, including by the holding of democratic elections in the shortest possible time".
Earlier this month, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton urged the release of ousted president Mohamed Morsi and stressed that the EU wants to see Egypt smoothly heading towards democracy.
Morsi, the first democratically elected president in Egyptian history, is in custody after massive protests against him across the country.