Army chief says ‘Egypt is for everyone’ but violence not tolerated

An Egyptian man holds a portrait of military chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as anti-Mursi protesters gathered in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. (File photo: AFP)

Egypt’s army has no intention of seizing power and the country is for “everyone,” including Islamist supporters of deposed President Mohammed Mursi, military chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said in a speech on Sunday.

“There is room for everyone in Egypt,” Agence France-Presse quoted Sisi as saying when he addressed military and police officers in his first public comments since last week’s security clampdown on Mursi loyalists that left hundreds killed.

The general, however, warned that anyone who resorts to violence will not be tolerated.

“Whoever imagines violence will make the state and Egyptians kneel must reconsider; we will never be silent in the face of the destruction of the country,” AFP quoted him as saying.

He added: “We have given many chances ... to end the crisis peacefully and call for the followers of the former regime to participate in rebuilding the democratic track and integrate in the political process and the future map instead of confrontations and destroying the Egyptian state,” the Associated Press quoted him as saying.

On Saturday, Egypt’s premier said the country was mulling over whether to disband the Muslim Brotherhood – Mursi’s Islamists movement, due to what he described as violence committed by the group.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy also insisted that the interim government had not abandoned the path towards democracy amid a deadly crackdown on opponents, in an interview with German news weekly Der Spiegel published Monday.

Fahmy, a former ambassador to the United States, said that Egypt’s military leaders were unlikely to extend a month-long nationwide state of emergency imposed last week.

“I assure our friends that we are maintaining our roadmap to democracy,” he is quoted as saying.
He said Egyptians “would not accept the country staying under the now-imposed state of emergency in the long run.”

He added that the Muslim Brotherhood supporters were welcome to a participate in dialogue on Egypt’s political future “as soon as calm and order have been restored.”

“Those who have not broken the law can take part in the political process,” he added.

(With AFP and AP)

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:41 - GMT 06:41
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