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Egypt military gives political forces 48 hours to resolve crisis
If no mutually-acceptable solution to crisis is reached within next 48 hours, military will step in with 'roadmap' for Egypt's political future
Ahram Online, Monday 1 Jul 2013
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El Sisi
Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (Photo: Reuters)

The Egyptian Armed Forces issued a televised statement on Monday afternoon giving Egyptian political forces 48 hours to "fulfil the people's demands," otherwise the armed forces would present a political "roadmap" for the country that would include all political currents.

"The Egyptian Armed Forces will not become involved in politics or administration; it is satisfied with its role as is spelt out in line with democratic norms," read the statement, stressing that Egyptian national security was in "great danger" and referring to the armed forces' "responsibility" to step in if national security was threatened.

"The Egyptian Armed Forces have set a deadline, which ended yesterday [Sunday], for all political powers to reconcile and end the current crisis, but no progress has been made. Consequently, the Egyptian people have taken to the streets," the statement read.

"Wasting more time will mean more division and conflict, which is what the armed forces warned of and of which it continues to warn," the statement added.

According to the statement, the absence of national consensus is what led the people to take to the streets in full determination, "which has been praised on the internal, regional and global level."

 The statement went on to warn that more time would only lead to greater polarisation, urging all parties to put the public interest first.

"The armed forces reiterates its call that the demands of the people be met," the statement read, giving political factions a 48-hour period "as a last chance to bear the historical burden that the nation is currently facing."

The official Facebook page of the Egyptian presidency published a brief entry on Monday evening, after the army statement was televised ,stating that President Mohamed Morsi held a meeting with Prime Minister Hisham Qandil and Minister of Defence General Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, although it was not clear if the meeting had concluded or was still taking place at the time of publication.

No details about the discussions at the meeting have been announced.

Upon hearing the news, Egyptian protesters outside the presidential palace and in Tahrir Square cheered, while army helicopters flew over Tahrir  as they did the day before.

In Alexandria's sit-in in the Sidi Gaber district, Yasmine Fathi told Ahram Online that protesters "welcomed" the army's statement regarding the ongoing political crisis.

"I'm so proud of our army; it has proven that it will stand by the people always," Aya Hawash, a Sidi Gaber protester said. "I'm not worried if the army rules, because it's obvious that their first priority is the Egyptian people."

Expressing his happiness with the statement, Tarek Fahmy, another protester, said that former head of Egypt's military Hussein Tantawi "was not a good man" because he made a deal with the Muslim Brotherhood allowing them to come to power.

"El-Sisi, however, has proven through his actions that he will support the democratic path," he said.

Several key members of the Egyptian opposition have welcomed the statement issued by the armed forces.

 

“The statement is telling President Mohamed Morsi to resign,” said Mahmoud Badr, spokesman of the anti-Morsi ‘Rebel’ campaign, which claims to have gathered 22 million signatures calling on the president to step down, and which was a key coordinator of the weekend’s massive anti-Morsi protests.

Badr added in a statement published on the campaign’s official Facebook page that “the army’s historic role is to take the side of the people.”

However, via Twitter, many activists who frequent the squares expressed their dismay regarding the military's re-intervention in Egyptian politics.

Their concerns stem from the year and a half of military rule following Egypt's January 2011 revolution during which there was a constant struggle between protesters and police and army forces.

At a pro-Morsi rally held by Islamist forces in Cairo's Nasr City district, demonstrators voiced support for the president's "democratic legitimacy," chanting, "Power, will, faith... Morsi is under attack."

The Muslim Brotherhood's Guidance Bureau and the group’s political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), are holding an emergency meeting on Monday evening to discuss a response to an ultimatum by the military, a high profile Brotherhood source told Ahram Arabic website.





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len hampson
02-07-2013 09:16am
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real democracy
still the egyptian people have been led down an undemocratic path leading to nowhere,is it because they do not understand the true meaning of freedom aligned with the democratic structures of a real society,this does not bode well for the future,religious fervour from all parties, can and will cause more heartache for those citizens who only want a good and decent peaceful society to live in
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6



Bara
01-07-2013 11:27pm
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The real issue
The opposition will destabilize Egypt as long aslarge number of people don't see the world beyond their bread and European's bikinis.
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5



Carsten Ringsing
01-07-2013 10:13pm
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So sad
It is easy to sit in Britain and form opinions on matters far away. It does however look like there is no obvious solution in the cards why military intervention is 1000 times better that civil unrest. Everybody (I am sure) inside Egypt as outside wants the Egyptians to establish the well-deserved democracy, but to process towards it MUST be safe for everybody involved. I sincerely hope a solution can be reached within the 48 hours, but if not I agree it's best to let the military forces take control for a while. FOR A WHILE, AND NOT FOR 30 YEARS !!
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4



Ray Comfort
01-07-2013 09:56pm
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saving lives
It may not be in democracies best interest for the military to stand in, but it will save lives and if all goes well, the Egyptians will get a second choice at the polls.
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3



Ray Comfort
01-07-2013 09:56pm
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saving lives
It may not be in democracies best interest for the military to stand in, but it will save lives and if all goes well, the Egyptians will get a second choice at the polls.
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2



Ajibola Hasan/Nigeria
01-07-2013 07:14pm
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12+
Back to Mubarak Era
All the oppositions and Mubarak aliens in the Military have reached consensus to take power from legitimacy democratic regime.
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Ray Comfort
01-07-2013 09:59pm
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legitimacy
Right.......not
Guest
01-07-2013 09:49pm
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elected in a RIGGED election, yes
The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything. (J. Stalin)
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expat
01-07-2013 06:35pm
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any chance...
sorry to break away from the "big" news* smile* but is there any chance in the world the middle eastern states will for one time fit their highest ranks of soldiers with decent uniforms? or are the bellies always to big to suit a regular outfit? the cap is also funny,but ok... coming to the serious point,the guy is training his eye vision just as mubharak before,the view of the eagle*smile*,over the issue above,no direct eye contact...one should be careful with this form of ego and dont forget,ALL were crying untill tantawi gave up
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