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Egypt military intervention 'necessary to resolve crisis'

By Mahmoud Fouly (Xinhua)

08:20, July 02, 2013

CAIRO, July 1 (Xinhua) -- The Egyptian military issued a statement hours ago, giving "all parties" a 48-hour deadline to respond to the demands of the people, has been seen by security and political experts as necessary to resolve the current political crisis in the turmoil-stricken country.

The statements came after overnight clashes between supporters and opponents of the controversial president killed at least 16 and injured nearly 800, besides those eight who were killed in similar confrontations last week.

Local analyst said although they don't hope for the army intervention, but it is necessary and is expected to take Egypt " out of the bottleneck it is currently going through."


Following the mass protests against Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, Defense Minister Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi said Monday that the two-day deadline represents "the last chance" for all parties to meet the people's demands before the military imposes a roadmap for the future of Egypt.

As the anti- and pro-president protesters are not willing to offer compromises, "the army has to intervene or else the country would be ruined," said security and strategic expert Adel al-Qalla, who is also a retired army general.

Qalla asserted that President Morsi lost earlier chances to contain growing public rage, by disregarding the opposition demands and insisting on keeping "loyal" Prime Minister Hesham Qandil and his government despite their failure.

He further expected the military's roadmap to include a one- year plan for a transition period, in which a new constitution will be drafted, a new parliament and a president will be elected by "June 2014."

"The army statement was as good as expected," Qalla, also the head of Egypt Arab Communist Party, told Xinhua. He expected more bloodshed over the coming few days given the possible reactions by some radical supporters of the president.

The army's declaration attempted to send reassuring messages to hundreds of thousands, or maybe millions, of anti-president protesters, while trying not to be too tough for the president's supporters, mostly affiliated to the Muslim Brotherhood (MB).

"The Armed Forces will not be part of politics or rule," said Sisi, reassuring those concerned about the return of military rule, noting the army's future roadmap would be carried out "with participation of all honest parties and national forces, particularly the youth, without isolation of any party."


For his part, Gamal Salama, head of political science department at Suez University, sees that the statement of the armed forces implies "vacancy of the presidential seat."

Explaining that the military institution is part of the executive authority headed by Morsi as president and also chief of the armed forces, Salama said "Since a subordinate institution sends a warning to a superior one, it means that the military does not recognize Morsi as a legitimate president anymore."

With regards to military intervention to resolve the crisis, the professor said "We did not hope for this but in the light of lacking a clear vision for the future, military intervention is necessary."

Although Sisi's statement addressed "all parties," Salama said. "It was meant to address the ruling party, namely Morsi and his MB group, as a warning message to respond to the demands of the people."

The anti-Morsi protesters, who flooded Tahrir Square and surrounded the presidential palace in Cairo, demanding ousting Morsi and holding an early presidential election, buoyed by the military statement.

Renowned politician Mostafa Bakry said that Morsi may listen to some advisers and call the people for a referendum on holding early presidential election to contain the growing anger.

"(But) this is too late and will be completely rejected by the people after they took to the streets in millions to express their opinion in the largest demonstrations," the editor-in-chief of El- Osboa newspaper told Xinhua.

He also warned that the Brotherhood might resort to violence as the last card to retain power, adding that "the army in this case would terminate the 48-hour ultimatum to start its roadmap right away."

"The military's roadmap is expected to take Egypt out of the bottleneck it is currently going through," he said.

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