Top News: Egypt’s Military Council Holds Crisis Meeting As Army Secures Key Institutions


The general commanders of the Egyptian Armed Forces are holding meetings with religious, political and youth figures, said an army statement shortly before the forty-eight hour deadline expired at 4:30 p.m. 


Egypt’s military council holds crisis meeting as army secures key institutions
The general commanders of the Egyptian Armed Forces are holding meetings with religious, political and youth figures, said an army statement shortly before the forty-eight hour deadline expired at 4:30 p.m. They will issue a further statement when the meeting is concluded. The political wing of Egypt’s ruling Muslim Brotherhood, the Freedom and Justice Party, reportedly refused the invitation to meet the armed forces commander. ElBaradei was chosen to represent the opposition National Salvation Front coalition and youth groups leading anti-Morsi street protests to negotiate with the army on their behalf. "In the meeting, ElBaradei will urge the armed forces to intervene to stop the bloodshed," one opposition source said. Egypt’s official army spokesman said on his Facebook page on Wednesday that the army has not scheduled a time for press statements or speeches. Before the ultimatum expired, Egypt’s military moved to tighten its control on key institutions Wednesday, putting officers in the newsroom of state TV, in preparation for an almost certain push to remove the country’s Islamist president. Egypt’s army commander and Islamist President Mohamed Morsi each pledged his life to defy the other as a deadline approached. [Reuters, Aswat Masriya, AP, Facebook (Arabic military statement), 7/3/2013]

Morsi role at Syria rally seen as tipping point for Egypt army
Army concern about the way President Mohamed Morsi was governing Egypt reached tipping point when the head of state attended a rally packed with hardline fellow Islamists calling for holy war in Syria, military sources said. At the June 15 rally, Sunni Muslim clerics used the word "infidels" to denounce both the Shiites fighting to protect Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the non-Islamists that oppose Morsi at home. Morsi himself called for foreign intervention in Syria against Assad, leading to a veiled rebuke from the army, which issued an apparently bland but sharp-edged statement the next day stressing that its only role was guarding Egypt’s borders. [Reuters, 7/2/2013]

Egypt military source denies report on road map; Political forces propose their own
Major Ahmed Shaaban, manager of the office for the military spokesman, denied a story published in Wednesday’s state-owned al-Ahram, detailing a potential roadmap that would be enacted if President Mohamed Morsi and his opposition did not come to an agreement by the army’s deadline of Wednesday afternoon. The army, according to the report, would oversee the procedures and mechanisms under which these transitional measures would take place in order to ensure their “impartial implementation.” Military sources said the new transition arrangements would be entirely different from the military rule that followed the overthrow of autocratic President Hosni Mubarak in a 2011 popular uprising. A number of roadmaps and initiatives were proposed over the last few days as a way out of the current crisis in Egypt, several of which came following massive opposition protests on Sunday and an ultimatum by the military that sparked celebration among anti-Morsi protesters and anger among the president’s supporters. [Reuters, DNE, Ahram Online, 7/3/2013]

Morsi says he won fair election, will stay on
President Mohamed Morsi told Egyptians on Tuesday that he had been freely elected little more than a year ago and intended to continue to carry out his duties despite mass protests demanding his resignation. In a televised address to the nation, Morsi warned that the only alternative to respecting the constitutional legitimacy of his presidency was further bloodshed on the streets. Morsi’s speech came as the clock ticked down to a Wednesday deadline set by the army for the president to meet the “people’s demands” or have a solution imposed on him.  He called for dialogue, saying he was engaged with members of the opposition—without mentioning which groups—for an initiative aimed at resolving the current political crisis. He said it included forming a new government, hastening the passage of parliamentary elections laws so as to hold elections within six months, forming a committee to review proposed constitutional amendments, resolving disagreements over Egypt’s prosecutor-general, and promoting the inclusion of youth in government. He made no direct reference to the army’s ultimatum in his address but in a separate message posted on his official Twitter account called on the army to withdraw it, warning that he would tolerate no attempt to override constitutional order. “President Morsi insists on (his) constitutional legitimacy and rejects any attempt to overstep it,” the message said. “(He) calls on the armed forces to withdraw their warning and rejects any dictates, domestic or foreign.” A spokesman for Morsi said the president believed it would be better to die "standing like a tree", defending the electoral legitimacy of his office, than to go down in history as having destroyed Egyptians’ hopes for democracy. [DNE, Reuters, Ahram Online, 7/3/2013]

Opposition: Morsi speech declares "civil war"
Egypt’s opposition alliance said President Mohamed Morsi’s refusal on Tuesday to accept a military ultimatum to share power put the country on course for confrontation and raised the risk of violence. "This is leading to confrontation, not offering any compromise or listening to people on the streets, and we are very alarmed about escalation of violence," said Khaled Dawoud, spokesman for the National Salvation Front. He added, "This is an open call for civil war…The president continues to deny the demands of the Egyptian people that he resign." [Reuters, 7/2/2013]

NSF calls on army to intervene; Tamarod urges Guard to arrest Morsi
The National Salvation Front (NSF) and Tamarod movement called on the armed forces to protect the Egyptian people from “brute” aggression and prevent bloodshed on Wednesday. In a joint statement, released almost three hours before the deadline for the armed forces’ ultimatum expired, the two opposition movements pointed out the armed forces’ national duty towards preserving the state’s security and stability and protecting the “peaceful” people from “those who terrorize and threaten them.” Tamarod also called on his military guard on Wednesday to arrest him, while al-Dostor appealed to the armed forces to act to save Egyptian lives, saying Morsi had "lost his mind" and incited civil war. [DNE, Reuters, EGYNews (Arabic), Ahram Online,7/3/2013]

Al-Jama’a al-Islamiya denies calling for referendum; Erian says the era of military coups has ended
Reuters reported that Morsi’s hardline Islamist allies in al-Jama’a al-Islamiya want him to call early presidential elections to avoid bloodshed and a military coup. Al-Jama’a al-Islamiya, however, denied urging President Mohamed Morsi to accept early presidential elections, underlining his "legitimacy" as an elected leader. Meanwhile, Essam al-Erian, Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) Vice Chairman, said the era of military coups has ended and an unelected ruler or council cannot rule Egypt. “The unity of the army, [its neutrality to] politics and focusing on its defense role is more important than trying to satisfy a political group that failed the test of democracy, or being loyal to a tyrant who is killing his people for fear of strategy shifts,” al-Erian said in a statement published on his official Facebook page. He also warned that the Egyptian people would not stay calm in the face of a "military rebellion" and said freedom was more valuable than life. Ex-supreme leader of the Muslim Brotherhood Mahdi Akef told Asharq al-Awsat newspaper on Wednesday, "Morsi will win, complete his term and people will maintain his legitimacy." For Morsi to stay is the only solution, otherwise ”chaos will ensue," said Akef amid calls for the president to leave office through protests international media has described as the largest in history. Presidential advisor and Brotherhood member, Sondos Assem said that Egypt is now in a political crisis because of the Armed Forces’ forty-eight hour ultimatum for President Mohamed Morsi and opposition to reconcile. [Ahram Online, Reuters, DNE, 7/3/2013]

Giza governor resigns; Judges’ Club chief declares Mahmoud prosecutor-general
Contradicting a court appeal denial, the head of Egypt’s Judges’ Club, Ahmed al-Zind declares Abdel-Meguid Mahmoud as the ‘legitimate’ prosecutor-general on Tuesday afternoon. In a televised press conference held at the Judges Club, al-Zind, seated next to Mahmoud, said the finding that Mahmoud is the "legitimate prosecutor-general" is a "victory" and "historic moment," although the appeal court–whose rulings are final–had rejected Mahmoud’s request to be reinstated. Meanwhile, Governor of Egypt’s Giza governorate Ali Abdel Rahman rendered his resignation on Wednesday, Nile News reported. The resignation follows those of the governors of Sohag and Ismailiya and several ministers who have all resigned amid a political crisis that Egypt is facing. [Aswat Masriya, EGYNews (Arabic), Ahram Online, 6/3/2013]

Also of Interest:
Egypt braces for post-Morsi scenarios | Ahram Online
The lead-up to Egypt army’s Monday statement: A timeline | Ahram Online
Interior Ministry: We did not, will never disappoint | SIS
Key events in Egypt’s uprising and unrest | AP
Egypt’s Morsi to resign or be sacked on Wednesday | Reuters


Islamist demonstrations continue
Islamist demonstrators in Rabaa al-Adaweya Square have increased on Tuesday in support of the legitimacy of President Mohamed Morsi, as several marches arrived to the square from various parts of Cairo and other governorates. They say the total number of demonstrators in and around the square is 4 million. A video by FJ SharqMedia was posted of today’s demonstration in Rabaa. The Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) announced via Facebook that it would hold nationwide marches to support Morsi’s presidential legitimacy on Tuesday afternoon. In Cairo, the protests are expected to take place at al-Hossari Mosque in 6th of October satellite suburb, al-Nahda Square in Giza outside Cairo University, outside al-Rayan Mosque in the posh suburb Maadi, and in Ain Shams. In addition, they will continue their open-ended demonstration at Rabaa al-Adawiya Mosque in Nasr City, where the Legitimacy Support Alliance, composed of Islamist groups who support the president, has been holding a sit-in. [Egypt Independent, Ahram Online, 6/3/2013]


Cairo protests escalate
The Rebel campaign, which was the first to call for the June 30 anti-Morsi protests and early elections, is holding several marches nationwide. In Cairo, the marches will conclude with sit-ins at both Itihadeya and al-Qobba presidential palaces. Rebel has also called for Republican Guards to arrest Mohamed Morsi for "impersonating" the president of Egypt and threatening the people with violence if they continue their revolution. Some protesters closed the Cairo governorate headquarters on Wednesday, preventing employees from entering to perform their work and demanding that the Cairo governor be sacked, reported the state news agency. Several protesters in Tahrir Square on Wednesday closed the gates of the iconic Mugamma building, amid escalating protests. Cabinet employees also began a sit-in at the cabinet in solidarity with popular demands for Morsi’s removal. [Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, Egypt Independent, EGYNews (Arabic), 7/3/2013]

Civil disobedience in Alexandria following Morsi speech
A number of protesters announced civil disobedience in Alexandria on Wednesday, voicing disapproval of a speech made by President Mohamed Morsi that stated he would stay in office and defend the legitimacy of his election with his life. The protesters closed all the main roads to traffic, which brought the city to complete paralysis. [Aswat Masriya, 7/3/2013]

Also of Interest:
Human rights organizations condemn violence against protesters | DNE


Security presence increases in Cairo and around Egypt

Egypt’s army and police deployed troops in the areas surrounding Tahrir square on Wednesday morning to secure it from any possible attacks, including the State TV building according to Reuters. State-owned news agency MENA reported that high security measures had been employed on Bab al-Louq, Tahrir street, 6 October bridge, the Corniche road from Qasr al-Aini street, Simon Bolivar square (near the US embassy) and all roads leading to Tahrir square. It was reported that bomb disposal experts late Tuesday evening successfully disarmed a bomb found at the Muslim Brotherhood’s headquarters in Cairo’s Moqattam district. In Suez, it has been reported by the head of the Suez Canal Authority Mohab Memish that the waterway is completely secure and the rate of ships passing through is normal. The military-affiliated Facebook page known as "the Administrator of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces official page" issued a statement in the early hours of Wednesday – entitled ‘The Final Hours’ – in which it vowed to "sacrifice lives" to combat terrorists. [Aswat Masriya, Egypt Independent, Reuters, Ahram Online, 6/3/2013]

Cairo clashes; Eighteen killed and 300 wounded across Egypt
Three people were killed and about ninety wounded in clashes near Cairo University between supporters of President Mohamed Morsi and security forces, an aide to Egypt’s health minister told Reuters. Witnesses heard shotgun and rifle fire and teargas enveloped the area. Eighteen people have now been killed in clashes between pro and anti-government protesters in Giza, Health Minister Mohamed Mostafa Hamed said Wednesday. Unknown men had attacked Nahdet Misr Square on Tuesday where President Mohamed Morsi’s supporters are protesting. An official source at the Giza Security Directorate said on Tuesday evening that demonstrators belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood fired shots at opponents of Morsi as they were marching in Faisal Street in Giza, wounding seven with bullets and cartridges. The Egyptian authorities have managed to control the violent clashes that erupted in the early hours of Wednesday near Cairo University, arresting six men, Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim said. On Wednesday, the Health Ministry published figures collated from governorates across Egypt. [Reuters, Egypt Independent, Aswat Masriya, Ahram Online, 7/3/2013]

Injuries and deaths increase as clashes continue in governorates
Violent clashes between Mohamed Morsi’s supporters and opponents in Qalubiya left fifteen injured, a health official in Qalubiya said on Tuesday. Violence also flared up in Beheira’s Kafr al-Dawwar city between supporters and opponents of Morsi on Tuesday evening. Twenty-one people were injured on Tuesday evening, some of whom were wounded by bird shots. Protests continued in Beheira leaving twenty-one injured. In Alexandria, there were twenty-two reported injured as the clashes erupted in Agami. [Aswat Masriya, 6/3/2013]


International community responds to Egypt protests

Egypt’s leaders must respect the views of the Egyptian people, US Secretary of State John Kerry said in a call with Egypt’s foreign minister on Tuesday, according to a State Department spokeswoman. In the call, Kerry told Mohamed Kamel Amr: "It is important to listen to the Egyptian people," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters in a briefing. Meanwhile, the State Department said reports that the US is pressing for early presidential elections in Egypt—the main demand of anti-government protesters—are inaccurate, Reuters reported after a CNN report to the contrary. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Tuesday, that Morsi must "hear" popular demands,  after the defiant president snubbed an ultimatum to step down. The UK asked the Egyptian Armed Forces to support a national dialogue and for opposition to consider talks with President Morsi ahead of a looming 4:30 p.m. deadline, by which the military announced they will take over. The only solution to the present deadlock in Egypt must be political and on the basis of a substantial and inclusive dialogue, said the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs, Catherine Ashton, on Wednesday. [Reuters, Ahram Online, DNE, Aswat Masriya, 7/3/2013]

Also of Interest:
Britain issues Egypt travel warning | Ahram Online
Thousands of diplomats, foreigners leaving Egypt | Egypt Independent
Israel nervously watching Egyptian turmoil | Ahram Online
Saudi Grand Mufti urges Egyptians to avoid bloodshed | Reuters
Fatah warns Hamas from getting involved in Egypt | EGYNews (Arabic)
For Obama, tricky diplomatic geometry in democratic Egypt | Reuters


With no deal reached, IMF ‘closely following’ Egypt political developments

With no deal reached and Egypt seemingly on the brink of major political change, the fate of a long-sought $4.8 billion aid package from the IMF hangs once again in the balance. "We follow closely all developments in Egypt," an IMF spokesperson who preferred to remain anonymous told Ahram Online. [Ahram Online, 7/2/2013]

Egypt’s banks to close early due to protests
Egypt central bank moved its closing time for accessing overnight lending forward as a Wednesday army deadline that could trigger a military takeover backed by protesters approached, a banker said. Banks must submit lending requests by 12:45 p.m. (10:45 GMT) instead of 4:30 p.m. The central bank earlier told banks to close their branches three hours early and advanced the time for a foreign currency auction. The Central Bank of Egypt has issued instructions to all banks active in Egypt to operate between 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. until the end of this week due to ongoing protests for and against President Morsi, al-Ahram Arabic news website reports. [Reuters, Ahram Online, 7/3/2013]

Also of Interest:
Global oil prices rise on Egypt concerns | Ahram Online, AP
Britain’s FTSE falls on Chinese data, Egypt tensions | Ahram Online
Egypt share index falls 1.7 percent ahead of army deadline | Reuters
No plan to close market, impose precautionary measures | SIS

Photo: SCAF

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