Egypt’s interim President Adly Mansour on Thursday vowed to protect the country from those who “want to drive Egypt to chaos,” in reference to continuous protests by supporters of ousted president Mohammad Mursi.
In his first speech to the nation, Mansour said Egypt is going through a decisive stage in its history where some want to drag the country into the “unknown” and cause chaos.
“They want this period to be an introduction to violence and we want it to establish for the concept of protecting lives and reaffirming human rights,” Mansour said.
He stressed that his government is committed to realizing security and stability.
Mansour's speech comes a day ahead of a massive rally by supporters of Mursi, overthrown in a popular-backed coup two weeks ago.
The military has warned against violence in Friday’s protests.
Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Badie issued a statement calling on the military to reconsider its decisions and "return to righteousness ... and accept the will of the people," according to Associated Press.
The Friday rallies coincide with the tenth day of Ramadan, which Egyptians celebrate as the day the armed forces crossed the Suez Canal in the 1973 war with Israel.
Badie used the occasion to celebrate achievements of the armed forces and appeal to members of the military to remember that their real mission was to defend Egypt.
"We call on the leaders of the coup to return to righteousness, (to) quit what is wrong," he said, according to Associated Press. In the sit-in by Mursi supporters, organizers read Badie's message. The protesters immediately broke out into the chant: "The people and army are one hand."
Badie and a dozen other Brotherhood figures and supporters are wanted by prosecutors for their alleged role in inciting violence. In his statement, he urged protesters to remain peaceful.
(With Associated Press)