Field-Marshal Hussein Tantawi, head of Egypt’s ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), addressed the Egyptian people in a televised speech Tuesday afternoon to mark the first anniversary of the 25 January Tahrir Square uprising that led to the ouster of longstanding president Hosni Mubarak.
After paying tribute to the “martyrs of the revolution,” Tantawi praised Egypt’s revolutionary youth, who he urged to form a unified political party. He also commended the “new mindset” on the part of the nation’s police establishment, as well as the positive role played by the Egyptian Armed Forces and judicial officials.
The field-marshal went on to declare an end to Egypt’s longstanding state of emergency, although he added that the emergency law – which had been a central pillar of the Mubarak regime – would continue to be applied in cases of “thuggery.”
Tantawi also praised the role of the Egyptian people in ensuring the success of Egypt’s first post-Mubarak parliamentary polls, which wrapped up earlier this month.
He went on to reiterate that the army would return to its traditional role of protecting the country from external threats as soon as the interim period concluded in June with the election of a civilian president.
Tantawi concluded by re-stating Egypt’s commitment to all international treaties and conventions to which it was signatory.