President Mohamed Morsi during his speech on Laylt al-Qadar
President Mohamed Morsi saluted the Arab and Islamic nation on Sunday night during an address delivered on the occasion of the anniversary of Laylat Al-Qadr, the first night on which verses of the Quran are believed to have been revealed to Prophet Mohammed.
Morsi also used the occasion to stress that none of his decisions taken earlier the same day had "aimed at embarrassing any [state] institution."
Earlier on Sunday, the president issued a surprise decision to retire Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, head of Egypt's military council, and Chief-of-Staff Sami Anan; terminate the military's 18 June constitutional addendum; and appoint reformist judge Mahmoud Mekki as Egypt's new vice-president.
During the speech, the president stressed that the decisions aimed at nothing but the country's best interest.
"My decision was never meant to embarrass any state institutions; we must remain loyal to those who were loyal, and I meant no negative message towards anyone," said Morsi.
Morsi further expressed his gratitude to Egypt's armed forces, promising to aid them in "their sacred role of protecting the nation."
Morsi urged the masses listening to his speech to support him in his mission "towards a better future for our children," calling on them to "remain alert" in the face of any threats to the nation.
"We're aiming for stability, security and national revival. We're moving towards a better future," Morsi declared.
On the precarious situation in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, the president emphasised that the military campaign he initiated there was "targeting no one but those who carried out the attack."
Following the killing of sixteen border guards by unknown assailants on 5 August, Egypt's security forces have been cracking down on suspects in the area over the course of the last week.
The president also urged the public to remain positive and look past Egypt's recent difficulties. "Now we must push for production and investment; we have no doubt our dreams will be realised," he said.
"We are aware of all the problems occurring in the country, and everything that the people are going through," the president added, urging the people not to use these as an excuse not to work. He added that certain actions that adversely impacted national productivity, such as the blocking of roads by protesters, would not be tolerated by security forces.
"Whoever has a complaint, I'm obliged to listen – but we won't accept violence," he said.
Morsi's speech was attended by hundreds of Al-Azhar clerics at the Azhar Conference Centre in Cairo's Nasr City district.