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UN Chief Concerned by Egypt Arrests, Warrants

The Muslim Brotherhood's General Guide Mohammed Badie speaks onstage as military helicopters fly overhead before tens of thousands of supporters in Cairo, July 5, 2013.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is voicing concern about continued detentions in Egypt and arrest warrants for Muslim Brotherhood leaders and others after the military removed the country's first freely elected president last week.

A U.N. statement says that in a phone call with Egypt's foreign minister, Mohammed Kamal Amr, Ban "made clear that there is no place for retribution or for the exclusion of any major party or community in Egypt.''

The U.N. chief said all parts of Egypt's political spectrum should be involved in a peaceful dialogue to find a way forward, and he repeated his support for the aspirations of the Egyptian people.

Muslim Brotherhood spokesmen say the movement will not back down in its demand to restore ousted President Mohamed Morsi, but say actions will be peaceful.

The group has called for mass demonstrations again on Friday, as has the anti-Morsi movement Tamarud.

On Wednesday, Egypt's public prosecutor ordered the arrest of Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie and some other senior Islamists, accusing them of inciting violence Monday when a dawn clash between Morsi supporters and the army left more than 50 people dead in Cairo.

Interim Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi is weighing potential Cabinet picks as he tries to form a government - amid objections from parties on both sides of Egypt's political divide to the transition plan laid out by the military and interim President Adly Mansour.

Meanwhile, the United States says it is going ahead with a planned delivery of four F-16 fighter jets to Egypt. The planes are due to arrive in August. They are part of a set of 20 Egypt is to receive this year under a deal approved in 2010.

The Obama administration is still evaluating whether the ouster of Mr. Morsi constituted a military coup. If such a determination is made, U.S, law would require the government to suspend all non-humanitarian aid to Egypt.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Wednesday it is a complicated issue, and that it is not in the best interest of the U.S. to alter the aid program "quickly or immediately."