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Mursi warns against foreign interference in Egypt’s internal affairs

Published: Updated:

Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi, in fiery statement to the Arab League summit on Tuesday warned, against foreign interference in Egypt’s internal affairs, saying that would be considered as a red line.

It was not clear which foreign parties the Islamist president was referring to. However, he is currently facing an uprising on home ground with the country engulfed by protests and violence.

On Sunday the Egyptian president threatened to take unspecified steps to “protect this nation” after violent demonstrations against his rule, using vague but severe language that the opposition said heralded a crackdown.

“No one in our neighborhood wants this nation to stand on its feet. I will cut off any finger that meddles in Egypt,” he said alluding to alleged foreign interference. “I can see two or three fingers that are meddling inside,” Mursi said without elaborating.

An Egyptian court postponed on Tuesday a ruling on whether President Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood is illegal, agreeing to the Islamist group's request for more time to present evidence in a case that has put it on the defensive.

Brought by anti-Brotherhood lawyers, the court case points to the deep antipathy some harbor towards a group that was formally dissolved in 1954 and forced to operate underground until President Hosni Mubarak was ousted two years ago.

The court set April 23 as the date for the next hearing in the case brought by lawyers who argue the group is illegal because of its 1954 dissolution by Egypt's military rulers.

Though the Brotherhood dismisses that argument, it has sought to shield itself before the ruling. Last week it registered as a non-governmental organization (NGO), giving it a new legal status.

A report by a panel of judges published last week had up held the view that the Brotherhood has no legal status, pointing to the chances of a ruling against the Islamist group.

Accused by secular-minded opponents of trying to set up a new autocracy, Mursi and the Brotherhood have been the target of violent protests that have erupted periodically since late last year and have obstructed his efforts to revive the economy.

The opposition's complaints against Mursi, who was elected president in June 2012, include his decision to appoint a new prosecutor general late last year, when he triggered a storm of protest by issuing a controversial decree that temporarily expanded his powers.

The Islamists accuse their opponents of failing to respect the rules of the democratic game that brought them to power.

An administrative court ruled on Tuesday that it was not entitled to rule in a case brought by opponents of Mursi and seeking the removal of the prosecutor general, Talaat Ibrahim.

Other Arab issues

While speaking at the Arab summit in Doha Mursi touched on issues the Palestinians and Syrians are currently facing. He called for establishing a Palestinian state and for the support of the Syrian people.

“Preventing Palestinians from the right of self-determination undermines the credibility of the international community,” he told the Arab body.

Mursi urged Arab nations to look for ways to establish an international framework that will inevitably work towards founding a Palestinian state. He added that National reconciliation is the “corner stone for Palestinian unity”.

The Egyptian president brought up the issue of the Syrian people and the lack of humanitarian aid.

“We have to consider ways to support the Syrian people”.