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Army and presidency at odds - says former intelligence official

Both of last night's addresses by Mubarak and Suleiman were in defiance of the armed forces, a former senior official of Egyptian Intelligence tells Ahram Online

Ahmed Eleiba , Friday 11 Feb 2011
An anti-government protesters flashes a victory sign next to an army soldier positioned on his armor
Anti-government protester flashes a victory sign next to an army soldier positioned on his armored vehicle protecting the state television building on the Corniche in downtown Cairo, Egypt Friday, Feb. 11, 2011.(AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
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Maj. Gen. Safwat El-Zayat, a former senior official of Egypt’s General Intelligence and member of the Egyptian Council of Foreign Affairs, asserted, in an interview with Ahram Online, that the address delivered by President Mubarak last night was formulated against the wishes of the armed forces, and away from their oversight. He claimed that Vice Preisdent Omar Suleiman’s address, which came on the heels of Mubarak’s address, was equally in defiance of the armed forces and away from its oversight.


Attributing this information to his own sources within the Egyptian military, Maj. Gen. El-Zayat said there was now a deep cleavage between the armed forces, represented in its Supreme Council, and the Presidential authority, represented in both President Mubarak and his Vice President, Omar Suleiman.


According to El-Zayat, communiqué #2 issued this morning by the Supreme Armed Forces Council was not, as many people in Egypt and elsewhere understood it, an affirmation of the addresses of Mubarak and Suleiman, but rather an attempt to avoid an open conflict, while at the same time underlining that the army will act as guarantor for the transition to full democracy. He adivced that people should listen carefully to the anticipated communique #3.
 

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