Khaled Abdullah / Reuters
Supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi perform Friday prayers at Rabaa Adawiya square in Cairo.
CAIRO – Supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi called for one million people to march on Friday to demand his reinstatement.
The Egypt National Alliance to Support Legitimacy was behind the rally in support of the Muslim Brotherhood-backed ex-leader, who was removed from office by the country’s military on July 3.
However, a rival group called for an evening rally in support of the new interim government, raising the prospect of violence in Cairo.
Morsi is believed to be held at the Republican Guard compound in Cairo, where dozens of his supporters were killed on Monday as they demonstrated outside.
"It's a very hard time for Egyptians, to see footage of blood and violence during the holy month of Ramadan, and everyone I speak to says the same thing," Fateh Ali, a 54-year-old civil servant in Cairo, told Reuters.
"I really hope the situation gets resolved soon. I don't think we can afford this economically or psychologically."
Also on Friday, the U.S. State Department said -- for the first time in public -- that it agreed with a call from Germany's foreign minister for Morsi to be released.
Asked if the United States agreed with Germany's call, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters, "We do agree."
In separate violence, a police officer was killed and a soldier injured in an attack on an armored vehicle in Arish, in the Sinai region, local media reported.
The state news agency also reported that three Palestinians had been arrested in Sinai during which it said where attempts to attack “vital installations”.
Meanwhile, Egypt's interim prime minister said Friday he will start contacting candidates for cabinet ministries on Sunday and Monday with a view to having the Cabinet sworn in by the end of next week, according to Reuters.
Hazem el-Beblawi, a liberal economist and former finance minister, was chosen to lead the interim Cabinet following the removal of Morsi, an Islamist who was democratically elected in 2012.
U.S. aid to Egypt is under review in the wake of last week’s military-backed power shift. “Given the events of last week, the president has directed relevant departments and agencies to review our assistance to the government of Egypt," the Pentagon said in a statement Thursday.
President Barack Obama has been under pressure from lawmakers, including Sen. John McCain, who say the U.S. should not be supporting what is regarded by supporters of Morsi – and countries including Turkey - as a coup.
U.S. law requires that aid be cut off to a country that undergoes a military coup, but Western leaders have stopped short of declaring the July 3 transition a coup.
NBC News' Alastair Jamieson and Reuters contributed to this report.
First published July 12 2013, 11:38 AM