Former deputy head of Egypt's General Intelligence apparatus Hossam Khairallah told Ahram Online that the armed forces' statement on Monday afternoon – giving political forces 48 hours to resolve the current political crisis – was "clear," stressing that all the chances the military had given to President Mohamed Morsi's regime had fallen on deaf ears.
Khairallah said the legitimacy of Morsi as president had expired, and that the 48-hour deadline set by the armed forces was intended for him to prepare his resignation speech.
On Monday afternoon, the Egyptian Armed Forces issued a televised statement giving political forces 48 hours to "fulfil the people's demands." Otherwise, he said, the armed forces would present a political "roadmap" for the country that would include all political currents.
Major-General Gamal Mazloum, a military expert, said that the army was rightfully fulfilling its role as protector of national security, denying that the institution had overstepped its mandate or was striving to overthrow the regime.
On the contrary, Mazloum said that the armed forces had tried to support the Morsi regime, despite all the abuses it suffered at the hands of the Islamists.
"The Egyptian Armed Forces will not become involved in politics or administration; it is satisfied with its role as spelt out by democratic norms," read the statement.
It went on to stress that Egyptian national security was in "great danger" and referred to the armed forces' "responsibility" to step in if national security was threatened.
A military source told Ahram Online that he doubted the feasibility of resolving Egypt's current political situation in only 48 hours.
The military source said that the first statement of the armed forces effectively ended the political impasse because all roads to a settlement had failed. He added that, after the statement, all the country's institutions would act in tandem with the armed forces, not the presidency, whose current state he described as "suspended."
Military expert General Taalat Muslim, for his part, said that the 48 hours granted by the armed forces to Egypt's political factions was meant to enable them to plan for the coming phase, so that the military did not find itself having to impose an agenda of its own.
The statement, which General Muslim deemed "appropriate" and "well-timed," reflects the armed forces' support for the people and their desire to topple the regime after Sunday's unprecedented and historical demonstrations, and lays the groundwork for the coming transitional phase.
Opposition demonstrations organised by the anti-Morsi 'Rebel' campaign stunned the world with their turnout across Egypt on Sunday, which military sources estimated were in the millions.