A warning of widespread protests in Egypt today (Friday) has been issued by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.

It came as the Egyptian army threatened to use force to combat “violence and terrorism”, as the country braced itself for rival rallies.

Foreign Office minister Alistair Burt, visiting Cairo, called on all sides to refrain from violence and respect human rights and the rule of law.

He said: “My visit to Egypt comes at a critical juncture in the country’s political transition. I am very concerned at calls for further mass protests on 26 July.

“In my meetings with the interim government and the Muslim Brotherhood I have stressed the need for calm and restraint, and urged action by all sides to prevent violent demonstrations in the coming days. I remain concerned by the number of protestors that have died so far.

“Now is the time for dialogue and compromise, not confrontation. I stressed the state’s responsibility to uphold the Egyptian people’s right to peaceful protest and the people’s responsibility not to resort to violence.”

EasyJet said it was continuously monitoring the situation in Egypt with all the appropriate authorities.

“Our current decision is to continue operating all planned services on schedule, however allowing all customers to make an informed choice by referring to the government’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office travel advice page.

“Based on the current advice, any customers travelling to or from Luxor who choose not to travel are being offered a free transfer onto any other easyJet destination or a full refund.

“Hurghada and Sharm el Sheikh remain unaffected and thus we will continue to operate normally. If the situation changes on either of these destinations we will advise customers.”