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Egypt interim PM asks protesters to remain peaceful ahead of pro-army rallies

Egyptian interim PM Hazem El-Beblawi calls on citizens to 'protect Egypt's civil institutions, remain peaceful ahead of pro-army protests on Friday

Ahram Online, MENA, Thursday 25 Jul 2013
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Interim Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi and Ahmed El-Moslimany, his media advisor, have stressed the need for protesters to stick to peaceful demonstrations, state news agency MENA reported.

"The President, his government, the police and army supports those who want to express their opinions without the use of violence," El-Beblawi stated in a press conference at the Cabinet headquarters on Thursday.

He also called on citizens to take to the streets to "protect the country's civil institutions."

El-Beblawi affirmed that El-Sisi's speech on Wednesday was a far cry from calling for conflict.

The prime minister has showed his happiness that both the army and police will perform their duties in protecting Friday's peaceful marches, MENA reported.

In a separate statement, El-Moslimany has also said that the presidency asks protesters to keep demonstrations peaceful.

El-Moslimany has also affirmed that only the state is responsible for security.

The two statements come a day after General Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, head of Egypt armed forces, called for protests on Friday to give the military a mandate to confront "violence and terrorism."

Egypt's presidency has echoed the same calls, affirming that the state has already started war on terrorism and that El-Sisi's calls are in the "protection of the revolution and the state," according to the presidency statement issued on Wednesday.

The pro-Morsi National Alliance to Support Legitimacy also issued a statement Wednesday denouncing El-Sisi's speech, accusing the army head of waging a civil war.

Revolutionary anti-Morsi political parties and movements such as the April 6 Youth Movement and the Revolutionary Socialists have rejected El-Sisi's call.

The April 6 Movement said that the army and police can protect Egypt "without restoring to any arbitrary measures," while the Revolutionary Socialists said they will not give the army a "blank cheque to commit massacres."

Rebel campaign, which spearheaded the 30 June protests against Morsi, have taken up El-Sisi's call and announced that they will protest on Friday.

El-Sisi's call follows a series of violent clashes nationwide after the ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi on 3 July and the appointment of the head of the High Constitutional Court, Adly Mansour, as interim president. 

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