Top News: Egypt Army Denies “Coup,” Aims to Push Politicians


The Egyptian armed forces issued a statement on Monday denying that an earlier statement from its commander amounted to a military coup and said his aim was only to push politicians to reach consensus. President Mohamed Morsi rebuffed the army’s ultimatum to force a resolution to Egypt’s political crisis, saying on Tuesday that he had not been consulted and would pursue his own plans for national reconciliation.


Egypt army denies "coup," aims to push politicians

The Egyptian armed forces issued a statement on Monday denying that an earlier statement from its commander amounted to a military coup and said his aim was only to push politicians to reach consensus. President Mohamed Morsi rebuffed the army’s ultimatum to force a resolution to Egypt’s political crisis, saying on Tuesday that he had not been consulted and would pursue his own plans for national reconciliation. The Islamist leader described as potentially confusing Monday’s forty-eight hour deadline set by the head of the armed forces. Morsi met the head of the armed forces on Tuesday for the second day, along with the prime minister, the president’s office said in a statement. It gave no details of the talks. He also held an emergency meeting with a number of his assistants and advisers to discuss how to deal with the current developments.

Tamarod spokesperson Mahmoud Badr welcomed Monday’s statement saying that “The army responding to the demands of the people crowns our movement.” They also rejected proposals for a referendum on whether Morsi should complete his term. Thousands of protesters in Tahrir Square welcomed the statement. Former military chief Sami Anan, who resigned from his post as presidential advisor, said the armed forces’ statement on Monday was "clear and unequivocal."  Egypt’s main opposition bloc, the National Salvation Front (NSF) said on Monday the army statement did not reflect a desire by the military to take power. It showed that the army respected the "principles of democracy and the will of the nation as a source of power", the NSF said in a statement, while former Egyptian presidential candidate Amr Moussa welcomed it saying it reflected the will of the people. The head of the Judges Club Councilor Ahmed al-Zind hailed the army’s role in the on-going domestic developments.

The Nour Party, however, said that the statement of the armed forces released on Monday is "ambiguous," warning against the repercussions of a return to military rule in Egypt. Senior Muslim Brotherhood politician, Yasser Hamza, said on Monday that no state institution would stage a coup against Morsi and warned against misinterpreting the army statement. The National Alliance to Support Legitimacy, an Islamist coalition led by the Muslim Brotherhood, asserted at a Monday night press conference that Egypt’s armed forces should represent "all Egyptians," saying that it should not take sides in the political fray. [Reuters, 7/2/2013]

Opposition nominates ElBaradei to negotiate with government
The June 30 Front along with the National Salvation Front (NSF) nominated Mohamed ElBaradei as the representative of the opposition in talks with the government to solve the current situation. “He [ElBaradei] won’t be all alone, we [the NSF and June 30 Front] are here to advise him,” said Yasser al-Hawary, a member of the June 30 Front. ElBaradei will be responsible for holding talks with the government to “find a solution for this crisis” and will start the talks by nominating the head of the Supreme Constitutional Court as acting president, al-Hawary added. Additionally ex-PM Ahmed Shafiq said on Monday that he believed that the reign of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood will end within a week. [DNE, Ahram Online, Reuters, 7/2/2013]

Egypt court upholds removal of Prosecutor-General Abdullah
A Cairo appeal court has upheld a lower court’s decision to dismiss prosecutor-general Talaat Abdullah. The court also reportedly rejected former prosecutor-general Abdel-Meguid Mahmoud’s appeal to be reinstated to the post. A judicial source said on Tuesday that prosecutor-general Talaat Abdullah’s deputy Hassan Yassin will act as the country’s top prosecutor until the reinstatement of Abdel Meguid Mahmoud, al-Jazeera reported. Conflicting reports have, however, on whether or not former prosecutor-general Abdel Meguid Mahmoud will return to his post by court order. [Ahram Online, Reuters, Aswat Masriya, 7/2/2013]

Latest wave of resignations as Cabinet, Presidency spokesmen quit
Spokesmen for Egypt’s Cabinet quit on Tuesday, Alaa al-Hadidi, latest in a string of resignations from President Mohamed Morsi’s beleaguered administration. His resignation came before the military gave their forty-eight hour ultimatum to Morsi and opposition to resolve the political impasse. Presidential spokesman Ihab Fahmy has also tendered his resignation. Five Egyptian ministers have resigned since Sunday’s mass nationwide protests demanding the president’s removal. On Monday, eight members of the Islamist-dominated Shura Council stepped down in protest at the simmering political standoff in the country. Former armed forces chief-of-staff Sami Anan also stood down as a presidential advisor on the same day, in solidarity with the opposition’s demands. [Aswat Masriya, Al Arabiya, Egypt Independent, Reuters, 7/2/2013]

Salafi Dawaa, Nour Party call on Morsi to field elections
Egypt’s Salafi Dawaa, and its political arm, the Nour Party, has called on President Mohamed Morsi to set a date for early presidential elections and form a neutral technocratic government, the first signs that the country’s political impasse is no longer simply a division between Islamist and opposition. In a statement on Monday, the two Islamist parties also called for the formation of a committee to examine suggestions for amendments to the constitution, upholding articles relating to the Islamic identity of the state while using amendment mechanisms already stipulated in the constitution. However, they fear military intervention. "But we have fears about a return of the army once again in the picture in a big way," Khaled Alam Eddin said. [Egypt Independent, Aswat Masriya, 7/2/2013]

Egypt’s ruling party calls supporters to resist any coup bid
An Egyptian Islamist alliance including the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) said late on Monday it rejected attempts to use the army to "assault legitimacy" and called for demonstrations to support the president. The political wing of the ruling MB has called on supporters to take to the streets to resist an army move that a spokesman compared to the coup which brought Egypt six decades of military-backed rule. According to al-Jama’a al-Islamiya Shura council chair Essam Derbala, the army’s Monday statement represents a "prelude to the empowerment of communism and secularism," and he accused Egypt’s armed forces of "protecting secularism" in a Tuesday statement. Additionally, divisions have surfaced within the Brotherhood over the referendum on Morsi’s presidency. [Reuters, Egypt Independent, Ahram (Arabic), 7/2/2013]

Also of Interest:
Army reprises hero role in new Egyptian drama | Reuters
A look at Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood | AP
New center to issueofficial documents for women in Qena | Aswat Masriya
Egypt cabinet promotes 100,000 public servants | Aswat Masriya
129 diplomats issue statement supporting protesters | Egypt Independent
Egypt Cabinet authorizes Qandil to propose solutions to presidency | Ahram Online
Army takes over Fayoum’s governorate headquarters – official | Aswat Masriya
Fayoum governor says he is officially still in power | Aswat Masriya


Muslim Brotherhood figure calls on Morsi supporters to sacrifice themselves

Mohamed al-Beltagi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, addressed President Mohamed Morsi’s supporters on Tuesday, calling on them to sacrifice themselves in defense of Morsi’s legitimacy in the face of millions of demonstrators who demand an end to his rule. “Say goodbye to your mother, father, and wife, because you will sacrifice your soul to defend Mohamed Morsi’s legitimacy,” he said. Meanwhile, dozens of supporters of the president have continued their sit-in at Cairo University near al-Nahda Square in Giza to defend the legitimacy the elected president, chanting "Islamic, Islamic." Protesters called for massive marches to descend on the square to back the beleaguered Morsi, Egypt’s first civilian elected president. State-run news agency MENA reported Tuesday that marches began to arrive in the square Tuesday morning. [Egypt Independent, 7/2/2013]

Pro-Morsi marches reported in Cairo, governorates; rival marchers clash in Suez
Supporters of embattled President Mohamed Morsi staged marches countrywide on Monday night in support of the president’s "democratic legitimacy" in the wake of a statement by Egypt’s armed forces suggesting that it planned to reassume executive authority. Thousands of Morsi supporters took to the streets in a march from Giza’s Haram Street and Omraniya district to al-Nahda Square outside Cairo University, the site of previous pro-Morsi rallies. Meanwhile, a pro-Morsi rally outside Rabaa al-Adawiya Mosque, estimated in the hundreds of thousands, remains in place for the fourth consecutive day. Pro-Morsi marches also took place in the Sharqiya governorate, in Suez, Marsa Matrouh, Qena, and Minya. [Ahram Online, 7/2/2013]


Anti-Morsi demonstrations continue in Tahrir and Itihadiya

President Mohamed Morsi’s opponents continued their sit-in in Tahrir Square and by the presidential palace on Tuesday following an army statement that granted political rivals forty-eight hours to reach consensus. Popular committees continue to close all the roads leading to Tahrir Square where protesters are chanting against the president and his Muslim Brotherhood. Protesters have also closed four gates of the Qubba presidential palace with chains. The protesters held a banner reading: "The palace is closed by order of the revolutionaries until a new president comes."  Meanwhile, Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II expressed his support on Tuesday for the nationwide anti-government protests and the Rebel campaign that calls on President Mohamed Morsi to step down. [Aswat Masriya, Egypt Independent, AP, 7/2/2013]

Also of Interest:
Poll: 73 percent of Egyptians say Morsi has not made proper decisions | Egypt Independent


Security forces on standby across Egypt; army ready to deploy in cities

Egyptian troops are preparing to deploy on the streets of Cairo and other cities if necessary to prevent clashes between rival political factions, military sources said on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Egypt’s Central Security Forces have placed armored vehicles and combat troops on standby across the country, to be ready for quick intervention in case of clashes between supporters and opponents of President Mohamed Morsi, security sources said. The Interior Ministry has deployed 440,000 officers to secure protesters during demonstrations, officials revealed in a press statement on Monday. The ministry has taken unprecedented measures to secure citizens during protests for and against Morsi, officials claimed, while security patrols have been increased. In a separate statement, the ministry expressed its support of the Armed Force and assured that the police were in the service of the people but will stay distant from any political leanings. [Reuters, Aswat Masriya, Egypt Independent,  SIS, 7/2013]

Clashes continue throughout Egypt’s governorates, 152 injured
One hundred and fifty-two were injured on Monday in nationwide clashes between supporters and opponents of President Mohamed Morsi, the health ministry has said. Clashes were documented in eight governorates as well as attacks on Muslim Brotherhood offices in Fayoum and Sharqiya. Unknown attackers stormed the headquarters of the Brotherhood’s political party, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) in Fayoum at dawn Tuesday, looting and damaging its contents amid clashes between supporters and opponents of President Mohamed Morsi. Forty people were injured during the violence, according to a medical source in Fayoum Public Hospital. Hundreds of protesters also stormed and torched the FJP headquarters in Assiut governorate to protest the Muslim Brotherhood’s rule on Monday. Supporters and opponents of Egyptian Islamist President Mohamed Morsi exchanged gunfire in the city of Suez at the mouth of the Suez Canal on Monday, witnesses said. Clashes that broke out in Cairo on Monday left eight people injured, Minister of Health Mohamed Mostafa Hamed said. [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, Aswat Masriya, DNE, AP, Reuters, 7/2/2013]

Also of Interest:
Cairo airport busy as passengers anticipate disruptions | Egypt Independent
Egyptian Islamist Wasat party HQ firebombed | Reuters
Egyptian troops train in streets of Suez | Reuters
Police foil attempt to storm Kerdasa police station | Egypt Independent
Egypt’s Brotherhood warns of attacks on anti-Morsi protests | Ahram Online
Khairat al-Shater’s residence under attack, his son says | Aswat Masriya
Egypt forces arrest Brotherhood leader’s guards – sources | Aswat Masriya


Officials: US urges Morsi to call early elections; warns military against coup

The Obama administration is urging Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi to call early elections and has warned the Egyptian military that it risks losing US aid if it carries out a military coup amid the political crisis, senior administration officials tell CNN. The officials stopped short of saying Morsi should step down immediately. Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama called Morsi to warn him that the voices of all Egyptians must be heard as a political crisis escalates, the White House said Tuesday. Obama told Morsi Washington was committed to "the democratic process in Egypt and does not support any single party or group," the official said. Egypt’s presidency, however, released a statement on the call saying that the US administration “deals with the Egyptian leadership elected by the Egyptian people.” General Martin Dempsey, the top US military officer, also called the chief of staff of Egypt’s armed forces on Monday morning, a US defense official told Reuters, without providing details on the conversation. The US Defense Department on Monday declined to speculate on what might happen in Egypt during the next forty-eight hours, saying it was still reviewing the statement by the Egyptian army giving the nation’s feuding politicians a deadline to agree on an inclusive roadmap for the country’s future. [CNN, Ahram Online, State Dept, AP, Reuters, SIS, 7/2/2013]

International community urges calm in restive Egypt
Many countries have issued statements on the political situation in Egypt following a televised statement by the Armed Forces on Monday giving political forces forty-eight hours to "fulfil the people’s demands" or be presented with a military-imposed "roadmap" for Egypt’s political future. Britain’s Foreign Secretary, William Hague, expressed on Twitter his concern about the situation in Egypt and asserted that it should be "resolved peacefully" and in a "way that supports the democratic transition." The UN warned that the result of Egypt’s new deadly political turmoil will have a "significant impact" on the transformation of other countries in the Middle East. The UN human rights office called on the government of President Mohamed Morsi on Tuesday to listen to the demands of the Egyptian people and engage in a "serious national dialogue" to defuse the crisis. The Russian Foreign Ministry, in a statement, said that all parties to Egyptian politics should refrain from using violence as it would "lead to further escalation" in the country, Russia Today’s website reported on Monday. The French Foreign Ministry spokesman Philippe Lalliot called Egyptian authorities to listen to "the legitimate concerns" of protesters, Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) reported on Monday. Iran on Tuesday called on the Egyptian military to support national reconciliation and respect the "vote of the people" after it warned it was ready to intervene in Egypt’s political crisis. [Ahram Online, 7/2/2013]

Also of Interest:
Canada Closes Embassy in Cairo | AP
Oman evacuates 113 nationals from Egypt | Egypt Independent


Unrest roils Egypt as Army deadline moves markets: Arab credit

Egypt’s 2020 bonds are yielding more than securities due 20 years later after a record slump in June as protests add to the deepening polarization hindering the country’s economic recovery. The yield on the Arab nation’s $1 billion of 5.75 percent bonds fell five basis points to 10.24 percent at 10:31 a.m. in Cairo, compared with 10.03 percent for 2040 debt, after the army gave President Mohamed Morsi forty-eight hours yesterday to respond to protesters’ demands and end an impasse. Egypt’s benchmark EGX30 index of stocks gained 1.2 percent to a three-week high. [Bloomberg, 7/2/2013]

Market Update: Egypt bourse soars after Army statement
Egypt’s main index was soaring mid-session on Tuesday, gaining nearly 5 percent as optimistic investors welcomed an ultimatum set by the country’s Armed Forces on Monday afternoon to end a political impasse. With investors likely to stay on the sidelines ahead of this week’s US jobs data, the focus was on Egypt, where the Cairo bourse hit nearly a one-month high after the army gave President Mohamed Morsi forty-eight hours to strike a deal with the opposition or step down. [Ahram Online, Reuters, 7/2/2013]

Also of Interest:
Iraq to help Egypt alleviate fuel crisis | al-Shorfa
Declining Egyptian pound threatens Saudi investments | DNE, Egypt Independent
World Bank to fund electricity generation | DNE
France still considering Egypt grain aid, trade doubtful | Ahram Online
Oil above $98 as protests rock Egypt government | AP 

Photo: Egypt Presidency

Image: morsi2.jpg