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“From my many phone calls with many Egyptians, I believe they know full well what a constructive process would look like,” he added.

Mr. Kerry spoke with Egypt’s interim Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy and Mr. ElBaradei on Wednesday, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

Mr. ElBaradei, a former head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog and a Nobel Peace Prize recipient, had been in favor of a negotiated settlement of the crisis.

In his resignation letter, he pointed out that there were “peaceful ways to end this clash in society.”

“The beneficiaries of what happened today are those who call for violence, terrorism and the most extreme groups,” Mr. ElBaradei wrote.