Sunday, June 30, 2013

Egypt's Re-Revolution in full gear as millions protest Morsi Government ! Protesters give President Morsi a Tuesday deadline to resign or else face escalating protests and strikes - where does the Army stand at this point in time ?



Egypt remains in political deadlock as military deadline looms
Nationwide protests continue for third consecutive day as President Morsi defies opposition calls to step down; at least 20 die in clashes between president's supporters, opponents on Tuesday and early hours of Wednesday
Sherif Tarek, Wednesday 3 Jul 2013
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Egypt
Protesters opposed to Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi surround an injured man, center, following clashes in the Kit Kat neighborhood of Giza, Egypt, where Tuesday, July 2, 2013 (Photo: AP)
Tensions reached a boiling point in Egypt on Tuesday night, with President Mohamed Morsi and his supporters still holding on tight to his "democratic legitimacy" while larger opposition forces continue to demand his ouster.
For the third day, millions of anti-Morsi demonstrators hit the streets across the nation to demand the removal of Morsi from power. A celebratory atmosphere was obvious most of the day in Cairo's Tahrir Square and at the Qubba and Ittihadeya presidential palaces.
Meanwhile, Islamist supporters of Morsi have also carried on their massive sit-in in the vicinity of Rabaa Al-Adawiya Mosque in Cairo's Nasr City district. Additional thousands have also been gathering at Cairo University in support of the elected president.
Clashes
With pro-Morsi marches in different cities since Monday, more clashes erupted between the two camps. Cairo, Alexandria, Qalioubiya, Giza, Daqahliya, Damietta and Fayoum, among other governorates, have all witnessed violence.
Gunfights occurred in Cairo's Kit Kat Square, located in the Imbaba district, with mayhem extending to Nile Street in the nearby Agouza district.
Pellets, live fire and Molotov cocktails were also reported during the clashes, while the nearby Bein Al-Sarayat district of Giza witnessed similar fighting. Intermittent clashes also took place near Cairo University, leaving at least 16 dead and 200 injured as of the early hours of Wednesday.
Another five were killed during the melee in Giza and over 100 injured, according to a security source who said that three of the victims belonged to the Muslim Brotherhood, the group from which Morsi hails.
Apart from rival rallies and clashes, political representatives of both camps refused to back down.
The anti-Morsi 'Rebel' signature campaign said it had nominated three of its members to participate in negotiations called for by the armed forces aimed at drawing up a political "roadmap" for the country.
On Monday, the Egyptian Armed Forces gave all parties involved in the ongoing political impasse until Wednesday 17:00 (Cairo time) to end their differences.  
Should they fail to do so, the armed forces warned that it would issue its own "roadmap" for Egypt's political future.
The Rebel campaign, whose protest calls have been endorsed by most opposition forces, proposed its own roadmap, calling for power to be handed over to the head of Egypt's High Constitutional Court (HCC) and the formation of a new technocrat government.
A member of the Rebel campaign's central committee, Mona Selim, announced that 90 percent of the campaign's organising committee had agreed to participate in negotiations, describing them as "a dialogue for handing over power."
Meanwhile, the April 6 Youth Movement has endorsed leading opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei to negotiate on behalf of the opposition. ElBaradei, generally disliked by Morsi supporters, has also been endorsed by the newly-formed 30 June Front, and the leftist Egyptian Popular Current.
President defiant
Morsi, meanwhile, delivered a speech Tuesday night in which he defied opposition calls to step down.
Shortly after he called on the army to withdraw its 48-hour ultimatum, President Morsi addressed the nation, saying: "Democratic legitimacy is what is preventing bloodshed between the rival camps."
"We sacrifice for our country and I am the first to sacrifice. If the cost of legitimacy is my life, I will pay it gladly," he said, before renewing his longstanding invitation to all political forces to participate in national dialogue.
He also stressed his position as Egypt's first freely elected president, saying he could only be replaced via upcoming polls.
In the same speech, Morsi said he was ready to form a new government, reiterating his readiness to make concessions to bring about national reconciliation. These include forming a committee to amend contentious constitutional articles and appointing young Egyptians to important government posts.
His offers did little to appease the opposition, however, although they were warmly greeted by his supporters.
Opposition digs in
In response to Morsi's speech, the masses in Tahrir Square and at the Qobba and Ittihadeya presidential palaces chanted loudly, “Leave, leave,” with demonstrators declaring that sit-ins would continue nationwide until demands for early elections were met.
Talking to state television, Khaled Daoud, official spokesperson for the National Salvation Front (NSF), Egypt's largest umbrella opposition group, said that the speech was an "incitement to civil war" as it had only escalated matters more.
Ahmed Maher, founder of the April 6 Youth Movement, for his part, said via Twitter: "Unfortunately, your [Morsi's] speech came too late. It would have worked months ago, but now you have to resign if you really love Egypt."
Conversely, at Rabaa Al-Adawiya Mosque, where the bulk of Morsi supporters have been gathering, crowds greeted the speech with fireworks and pro-Morsi chants. "With our blood and souls, we will defend [the president's democratic] legitimacy," they shouted in unison.
Gamal Samak, prominent member of Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya’s Building and Development Party, told state television that the president’s speech offered a solution to the crisis, as was requested by the armed forces on Monday.
President Morsi, Samak said, had called on all opposition forces to participate in dialogue and offered to form a new government. He urged opposition figures to respond positively to the president's initiative. 
Morsi was elected one year ago in Egypt's first-ever free presidential polls. He was fielded in the elections by the Muslim Brotherhood, the group that has staunchly supported him, along with other Islamist parties and groups, most notable of which are Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya and the moderate-Islamist Wasat Party. 
Late Tuesday night, the military-affiliated Facebook page known as "the Administrator of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces official page" issued a statement in which it vowed to "sacrifice lives to combat terrorists."









http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-07-02/crude-cracks-102-egyptian-army-ready-die


Crude Cracks $102 As Egyptian Army "Ready To Die" - Live Feed

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WTI Crude futures just topped $102 per barrel (the highest price in 14 months) asReuters reports 16 dead and Egypt's high command saying the army was ready to die to defend Egypt's people against terrorists and fools, in a response to Islamist President Mohamed Mursi. Their comment (via Facebook) read "We swear to God that we will sacrifice even our blood for Egypt and its people, to defend them against any terrorist, radical or fool," was issued 3 hours after Mursi's TV statement.


3:42 AM LOCAL TIME: THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE IN TAHRIR WITH A HUGE FIGHT AND AUTOMATIC GUNFIRE REPORTED AT CAIRO UNIVERSITY. 16 DEAD 200 INJURED








http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-07-02/less-day-left-mursi-demands-withdrawal-ultimatum-mubarak-says-mursi-should-step-down


With Less Than A Day Left, Mursi Demands Withdrawal Of Ultimatum; Mubarak Says Mursi Should Step Down

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When news hit 30 minutes before the market close that the Egyptian president would have a joint statement with the local military, some saw  this was a good sign that there may finally be a compromise forming. Couldn't be further from the truth. As Reuters reports, Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi called on the armed forces on Tuesday to withdraw an ultimatum for him to share power with his political opponents and said he would not be dictated to. "President Mohamed Mursi asserts his grasp on constitutional legitimacy and rejects any attempt to deviate from it, and calls on the armed forces to withdraw their warning and refuses to be dictated to internally or externally," a tweet on the official Twitter feed of the Egyptian presidency said. A military source said the armed forces had seen Mursi's statement and would issue a response to it.
And just to complete the epic farce, Al Arabiyareported that ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said that the country’s current Islamist president, Mohammed Mursi, should step down for the sake of the Egyptian people. One couldn't make this up, nor could one make up the losses those short Egypt risk protection have suffered in the past month as Egypt CDS have widened by 50%.
In the meantime, US puppet Mursi has precisely 23 hours and 53 minutes.


http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-07-02/suez-canal-security-high-alert-amid-escalating-tensions


Suez Canal Security On "High Alert" Amid Escalating Tensions

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The chairman of the Suez Canal Authority iscoordinating a "high alert" military response as protests escalate against President Morsi. The army and navy stepped up patrols of the 190-kilometer (118-mile) canal linking the Red and Mediterranean seas about a week ago, he said. "Closing the canal outright would be very difficult without the support of the military," Barclays notes as the army and navy steps up patrols of the 190km canal.
While unrest that toppled Hosni Mubarak, Mursi’s predecessor, failed to halt traffic last year, fewer vessels passed along the canal.An average of 1,435 ships a month used the link, the lowest figure since 2005. So far, traffic is "normal and has not faced any disruptions."
Via Bloomberg,
The canal handles about 8 percent of seaborne trade, according to Barclays. It carried about 4.5 percent of global trade in oil in 2011, the bank said. The waterway also carries about 14 percent of liquefied natural gas cargoes, the note showed.

About 800,000 barrels of crude and 1.4 million barrels of refined fuels passed along the canal daily in 2011, the bank said, citing data from the U.S. Energy Department. An adjacent pipeline carried an additional 1.7 million barrels a day, it said.

The canal was shut for several months during the Suez Crisis, when the U.K., France and Israel invaded Egypt in 1956 in an effort to prevent the link from being nationalized. The waterway closed for eight years a decade later, forcing oil tankers to head around South Africa to deliver cargoes.
And perhaps just as important, Haaretz reportsthat Israel agrees to Egypt troop movements in Sinai.
Egypt is believed to have moved several dozen armored vehicles to the volatile border; Muslim Brotherhood calls supporters to take to the streets.

Israel's military said Tuesday that Egypt has moved forces into the border area near the Gaza Strip in coordination with Israel.

With unrest sweeping the country, Egypt is believed to have moved several dozen armored vehicles to the volatile border area to contain militant activity. The Israeli military gave no details.

Under a 1979 peace treaty, Egypt is required to coordinate any special military activity in the area with Israel.

In a statement Tuesday, the Israeli army said "the Egyptian military activity in Sinai is coordinated with Israeli security elements and authorized at the most senior levels in Israel, to contend with security threats in Sinai that pose a threat to both Israel and Egypt."
Morsi's fate may now be sealed.


http://www.debka.com/article/23088/In-direct-confrontation-Morsi-refuses-to-quit-says-army-must-withdraw-ultimatum


Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi Tuesday night rejected Defense Minister Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ‘s demand that he quit to avert a bloodbath. He said he stood by his “constitutional dignity and demanded the army’s withdrawal of its ultimatum.

DEBKAfile: The general acted after Interior Minister Gen. Muhammad Ibrahim offered to place all police, internal security and intelligence forces at the disposal of the army because they no longer defer to the authority of the president or the Muslim Brotherhood government. This virtual “coup” enabled the army to jump the gun by 24 hours on its ultimatum to Morsi.

This military's action was not quite a “coup,” but it snatched away the Muslim Brotherhood government’s buttress of organized security forces, leaving only loyal adherents as a last prop.

The army thus jumped the gun by 24 hours on its ultimatum to the president to “heed the will of the people” - or else. This move played out as huge rival demonstrations gathered in Cairo at separate locations with no police in evidence to hold back the sporadic bouts of violence, which are expected to spread. Already, seven people were killed in three separate violent clashes between supporters and opponents of the Islamist president. Another huge anti-government took place in Alexandria as well as other Egyptian cities.
Military circles indicated that to defuse the crisis the army would force the regime to transfer ruling authority to an interim council made up of citizens and technocrats and entrusted with drafting a new constitution and preparing early elections for president.

Those sources did not disclose what would happen to Morsi and whether he would stay on in the meantime as a figurehead president without executive powers.

President Morsi and the Muslim Brothers are hardly likely to lie down for this roadmap out of the crisis, because it would mean relinquishing power after just one year, at the end of decades of being pushed to the fringes of Egypt’s political scene.

But there is not much they can do. Their call to turn out and demonstrate for the Islamic flag Tuesday brought out their own followers and no one else, whereas the opposition is not only backed by millions of assorted groups but has now gained the support of the army, the police, the security service and the intelligence agency.

Read the earlier DEBKAfile report from Tuesday morning. 

US President Barack Obama and Chief of US General Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey intervened in the Egyptian crisis early Tuesday, July 2, in an attempt to save the besieged President Mohamed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood. Obama called the Egyptian president and Gen. Dempsey phoned Chief of staff Gen. Sedki Sobhi, hoping to defuse the three-way crisis between the regime, the army and the protest movement before it gets out of hand.

The crash of Morsi’s presidency would seriously undermine the objectives of the Arab Revolt  pursued by the Obama administration as the arch-stone of his Middle East policy.

The administration had earlier sought unsuccessfully to persuade the heads of the Egyptian army not to issue its 48-hour ultimatum to Egypt’s rulers “heed the will of the people” by Wednesday afternoon - or else the army would intervene. The Americans proposed instead to leave Morsi in place after stripping him of presidential authority and installing a transitional government to prepare the country for new elections to the presidency and parliament.

DEBKAfile’s Middle East sources report that the army chiefs led by Defense Minister Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi rejected the American proposal.

Obama promised to back steps taken by President Morsi to show he is “responsive to the opposition’s concerns,” while Gen. Dempsey asked Egyptian generals to moderate their stand against the Muslim Brotherhood. The underlying message was that if they failed to do so, Washington might reconsider its $1.3 billion annual military assistance package which is the main source of income for the armed forces.
Heartened by the US president’s vote of support, Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood and its Islamic allies, rejected the army’s ultimatum for resolving the country’s deadly crisis, saying it would sow confusion and ran contrary to the Egyptian constitution.

Morsi insisted he would stick to his own plans for national reconciliation.

His regime is meanwhile crumbling:  Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr resigned early Tuesday, the sixth minister to quit the government in the last 24 hours. He follows the president’s military adviser Gen. Sami Anan, former chief of staff under President Hosni Mubarak. Senior judges and high police officers were seen taking part in the anti-government protest rallies of the last week.

Morsi and the Brotherhood now face two ultimatums: If by Tuesday afternoon, he has not agreed to step down and call an early election, the organizers of the protest movement, which has brought millions to the streets of Egyptian cities, will launch a relentless and anarchic campaign of civil disobedience. The defense minister says the army will intervene if the government fails “to heed the will of the people” by Wednesday afternoon.
The Muslim Brotherhood and its radical allies are now considering whether to fully mobilize their adherents for “processions” and counter-demonstrations. This would take Egypt to the brink of a violent and prolonged escalation with incalculable consequences. 









http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-07-02/oil-tops-99-morsi-rebuffs-military-33-hours-and-counting-coup-live-feed



Live Egypt Feed As Morsi Rebuffs Military; Army Lays Out "Transition Roadmap"

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Update: the local army has already laid out the framework of what the upcoming "coup" will look like. via Reuters:
  • ARMY ROADMAP WOULD BE IMPLEMENTED IF PRESIDENT MURSI, OPPOSITION FAIL TO AGREE - SOURCES
  • ARMY ROADMAP WOULD PROVIDE FOR RULE BY INTERIM COUNCIL UNTIL CONSTITUTION CHANGED - SOURCES
  • ARMY ROADMAP ENVISIONS CONSTITUTION CHANGE WITHIN MONTHS, FOLLOWED BY PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION -SOURCES
  • ROADMAP SUBJECT TO AGREEMENT OF OPPOSITION SALVATION FRONT, OTHER FORCES ONCE DEADLINE EXPIRES -SOURCES
"The country is heading toward a clash and a civil war," warned Morsi's political opposition party leader after the President rebuffed demands for stability from the military (or else). As Bloomberg notes, the vaguely worded statement from Morsi's office that they would continue to walk the "path that was outlined" regardless of "any statements that could deepen the divisions between the sons of the nation, and could threaten social peace," is as clear a snub to the coup-threat as it comes without directly addressing them and has merely served to bolster the anti-Morsi protesting crowds in Cairo's Tahrir Square.Growing fears of tensions spilling over - and a closure of the Suez Canal - have pushed WTI crude prices back above $99. With 33 hours to the Military's deadline and crowds swelling even further, the celebrations yesterday are beginning to turn to anger once again.
The Morsi Timer counts down...








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Egyptian Military Coup In 48 Hours If No Solution Found


The Egyptian Military just made a publc statement on Egyptian TV and it appears the country is close to another military coup:
  • *EGYPTIAN MILITARY SAYS WON'T BE PART OF POLITICS
  • *EGYPT MILITARY SAYS NATIONAL SECURITY SUBJECTED TO GRAVE DANGER
  • *EGYPTIAN MILITARY SAYS PROTESTS 'UNPRECEDENTED'
  • *EGYPTIAN MILITARY SAYS HOMELAND FACING DIRE SITUATION
  • *EGYPT'S MILITARY SAYS WILL NOT BE PARTY TO POLITICS OR POWER
  • *EGYPT MILITARY SAYS CALLS FOR MEETING THE DEMANDS OF THE PEOPLE
  • *EGYPT MILITARY MAY HAVE TO OFFER ROADMAP AFTER 48 HOURS
In other words, do as the people want, calm this down now, or we will step in within 48 hours.



23 Cats Who Are Smarter Than You


http://www.debka.com/article/23088/Obama-scrambles-to-save-Morsi-after-Muslim-Brotherhood-rejects-Egyptian-army-ultimatum


US President Barack Obama and Chief of US General Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey intervened in the Egyptian crisis early Tuesday, July 2, in an attempt to save the besieged President Mohamed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood. Obama called the Egyptian president and Gen. Dempsey phoned Chief of staff Gen. Sedki Sobhi, hoping to defuse the three-way crisis between the regime, the army and the protest movement before it gets out of hand.

The crash of Morsi’s presidency would seriously undermine the objectives of the Arab Revolt  pursued by the Obama administration as the arch-stone of his Middle East policy.

The administration had earlier sought unsuccessfully to persuade the heads of the Egyptian army not to issue its 48-hour ultimatum to Egypt’s rulers “heed the will of the people” by Wednesday afternoon - or else the army would intervene. The Americans proposed instead to leave Morsi in place after stripping him of presidential authority and installing a transitional government to prepare the country for new elections to the presidency and parliament.

DEBKAfile’s Middle East sources report that the army chiefs led by Defense Minister Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi rejected the American proposal.

Obama promised to back steps taken by President Morsi to show he is “responsive to the opposition’s concerns,” while Gen. Dempsey asked Egyptian generals to moderate their stand against the Muslim Brotherhood. The underlying message was that if they failed to do so, Washington might reconsider its $1.3 billion annual military assistance package which is the main source of income for the armed forces.
Heartened by the US president’s vote of support, Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood and its Islamic allies, rejected the army’s ultimatum for resolving the country’s deadly crisis, saying it would sow confusion and ran contrary to the Egyptian constitution.

Morsi insisted he would stick to his own plans for national reconciliation.

His regime is meanwhile crumbling:  Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr resigned early Tuesday, the sixth minister to quit the government in the last 24 hours. He follows the president’s military adviser Gen. Sami Anan, former chief of staff under President Hosni Mubarak. Senior judges and high police officers were seen taking part in the anti-government protest rallies of the last week.

Morsi and the Brotherhood now face two ultimatums: If by Tuesday afternoon, he has not agreed to step down and call an early election, the organizers of the protest movement, which has brought millions to the streets of Egyptian cities, will launch a relentless and anarchic campaign of civil disobedience. The defense minister says the army will intervene if the government fails “to heed the will of the people” by Wednesday afternoon.
The Muslim Brotherhood and its radical allies are now considering whether to fully mobilize their adherents for “processions” and counter-demonstrations. This would take Egypt to the brink of a violent and prolonged escalation with incalculable consequences. 
http://antiwar.com/blog/2013/07/01/morsi-aide-egyptian-army-cant-oust-president-without-american-approval/


Morsi Aide: Egyptian Army Can’t Oust President Without ‘American Approval’
John Glaser, July 01, 2013
2013_0302_kerry_morsi_600_1
There is a bit of déjà vu happening in Egypt right now: as mass protests against the Morsi regime continue to grow, the Egyptian army gave the regime a 48-hour ultimatum, threatening direct military involvement in the political process “if the demands of the people are not realized.” In other words, if Morsi doesn’t either step down or call for early elections, the army will move to unseat him, just as happened when the protest movement prompted the ouster of Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
But, as the Guardian is reporting, the Morsi regime believes that is impossible unless Washington wants new leadership.
The head of Egypt’s armed forces, General Abdel Fattah Sisi, threatened direct military involvement in the political process “if the demands of the people are not realised”, in a statement implying that Morsi should either step down or at least call early elections.
The presidency indicated that it viewed the statement as a coup d’etat, and implied that Morsi was safe as long as his administration still had US support.
“Obviously we feel this is a military coup,” a presidential aide said. “But the conviction within the presidency is that [the coup] won’t be able to move forward without American approval.”
This should serve as a much-needed corrective to claims that the Obama administration relinquished America’s imperial holdings in Egypt and allowed the democratic process post-Mubarak to take hold unencumbered. As Egypt’s rulers see it, so long as the overlords in Washington want them to stay in power, then stay in power they will – regardless of what the public desires.
“[T]he U.S. strategy in the region is to prefer a managed transition to civilian rule and democratic governance as long as the American major strategic objectives are not challenged,” wrote Esam Al-Amin last year. Namely, to “keep the Americans in, the Chinese and Russians out, the Iranians down, and the Israelis safe.”
And as The New York Times reported last year, US aid to Egypt helps keep the pockets of defense corporations nice and full.
Granted, the Egyptian military is no benevolent savior in all this. They continue to have entrenched interests within Egypt’s power structure and have a record of serious abuse. Their gripe with Morsi is probably not about fulfilling their commitment to national self-determination. But when the military finally turned on Mubarak in 2011, demonstrators in Tahrir Square held up Egyptian soldiers on their shoulders and handed babies to tank operators rolling through the streets.
It’s hard to argue that the U.S., who has propped up a dictatorship in Egypt for decades in order to serve its own geo-political interests of control and domination, should have more of a say in Egyptian politics than the protesters and anyone who apparently speaks on their behalf.









http://rt.com/news/egypt-army-deadline-morsi-498/


Egyptian deadline: Armed forces give Morsi and protesters 48 hours to resolve conflicts


Published time: July 01, 2013 18:51
Edited time: July 01, 2013 22:31
Egyptian opposition protesters celebrate on July 1, 2013 in Cairo.(AFP Photo / Gianluigi Guercia)
Egyptian opposition protesters celebrate on July 1, 2013 in Cairo.(AFP Photo / Gianluigi Guercia)


The powerful Egyptian armed forces have said that national security is at risk and have given President Mohamed Morsi a virtual ultimatum to resolve the crisis or else they will introduce a roadmap for the country’s future.


In a statement broadcast on state television, the military declared the nation was in great danger after millions of Egyptians took to the streets Sunday to demand Morsi step down.
“If the demands of the people are not realized within the defined period, it will be incumbent upon (the armed forces) to announce a road map for the future,” said the statement by General Adbel Fattah al-Sisi the Commander-In-Chief of the Egyptian Armed Forces.
The statement continued that the armed forces have sensed the seriousness of the situation currently facing the Egyptian people and that they had already issued a warning over a week ago calling for the politicians to achieve some kind of consensus to bring stability to the country.
Egyptian opposition protesters celebrate on July 1, 2013 in Cairo.(AFP Photo / Gianluigi Guercia)
Egyptian opposition protesters celebrate on July 1, 2013 in Cairo.(AFP Photo / Gianluigi Guercia)

“The armed forces sensed early on the dangers of the current situation and the demands the great people have at this time. Therefore, it previously set a deadline of a week for all political forces in the country to come to a consensus and get out of this crisis. However, the week has passed without any sign of an initiative. Wasting more time will only bring more division and conflict, which we have warned about and continue to warn about,” the statement read.
Bel Trew, RT’s correspondent in Cairo, said that this basically means that if the situation does not improve the army will intervene.
“It’s something people here have been discussing a lot, with people on one side saying they want the military to step in as the deepening crisis continues, on the other side people are fearful of the military taking over,” said Trew, speaking on the phone from Cairo.
The army was in charge of Egypt for a year after Hosni Murbarak stepped down and during that period there were a number of human rights violations, including deaths at the hands of the military. 
Trew explained that many people were unhappy with the military in power and celebrated the fact that they had democratic elections which brought in a civilian government. So the president has been put between a hard place and a rock, she explained, as people are calling on him to step down so either he resigns or in 48-hours the military will step in.
Morsi will give a press conference from the presidential palace later this evening to give his reaction to the military’s announcement.
For its part the army insisted that it would not get directly involved in politics or government and that it sought “the participation of all factions and national parties including young people”.
Egyptian opposition protesters celebrate on July 1, 2013 in Cairo.(AFP Photo / Gianluigi Guercia)
Egyptian opposition protesters celebrate on July 1, 2013 in Cairo.(AFP Photo / Gianluigi Guercia)

On Cairo’s Tahir Square, which has been the center of the anti-government protests, hundreds of thousands celebrated the army’s declaration.
“We want a new armed forces council to govern until new elections,” Mohamed Ibrahim, an accountant told Reuters.
The main opposition movement, the National Salvation Front, which has been demanding a unity government for months, applauded the statement while anti Morsi protesters camped outside the presidential palace cheered the army move.
Sunday’s rallies were the biggest in Egypt’s history, according to AFP.








http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2013/07/01/Is-the-clock-ticking-for-Mursi-Opposition-sets-deadline-for-his-ouster.html


Al Arabiya
Egypt's opposition rebel movement (named “Tamarod” in Arabic) announced early Monday a deadline for President Mohammed Mursi to cede power.
The group gave Mursi until 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday to quit, threatening escalated protests if he doesn’t.
"(Mursi) has until 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 2 to leave power. He must do this in order for Egyptian state institutions to prepare for early presidential elections," the movement said in its first official statement published on its website.
The statement warned that if Mursi does not comply with their request, it will call on Egyptians to gather in all protest hotspots to march towards al-Quba presidential palace in Cairo.
"This date (July 2 at 5:00 p.m.) can be considered the beginning of a general civil disobedience for the sake of implementing the will of the Egyptian people."
The movement also called on "state institutions, such as the army, police and the judiciary, to be biased towards the prevalent [anti-Mursi] sentiment seen in the masses of Egyptians in Tahrir Square and nationwide."

It added that protests will resume and warned that the protests could drag the country into a civil war.

"It's no longer possible to accept any halfway solutions and there's (no other choice) but to peacefully end the Brotherhood’s power and call for holding early presidential elections."

Opposition leaders were to meet on Monday afternoon to plot their next move, Reuters news agency reported.
As Egypt appeared deeply divided on Sunday with the escalation of violence and millions gathering toprotest against Mursi, the office of the president said it was open for dialogue with the opposition.
“Dialogue is the only way through which we can reach an understanding... The presidency is open to a real and serious national dialogue,” presidential spokesman Ehab Fahmy said in a press interview broadcast by Al Arabiya.
Fahmy called on protesters to maintain “the peaceful nature” of their protest, describing anti-Mursi demonstrations as an example of free expression in Egypt.







http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2013/07/01/Egypt-locked-in-standoff-after-millions-rally-nationwide-against-Mursi.html


Al Arabiya
The headquarters of the powerful Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo was stormed and ransacked on Monday following deadly clashes there between supporters and opponents of President Mohamed Morsi who hails from the group, an AFP correspondent said.

The building in Cairo's Moqattam district was set ablaze before people stormed inside and began throwing things out of the windows, as others were seen leaving with items including furniture.

Witnesses told AFP there were no Brotherhood members still inside the building, after they were escorted out by a group of people early on Monday.
After millions of protesters flooded streets across Egypt, the country was locked in a tense standoff on Monday as demands for the resignation of Mursi remain stern, and the opposition plans its next moves.
At least 10 people were killed during Sunday’s protests and more than 600 wounded during clashes between Mursi’s supporters and opponents, according to Al Arabiya reports on the ground and medical sources.
Reuters news agency reported that five of the dead were shot in towns south of Cairo, one each in Beni Suef and Fayoum and three in Assiut.

Two more were killed by gunfire during an attack on the Muslim Brotherhood national headquarters of in a suburb of the capital, medical sources confirmed.
The demonstrations, which brought half a million people to Cairo’s central Tahrir Square and a similar crowd in the second city, Alexandria, were easily the largest since the Arab Spring uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
Around 150 “thugs” attacked the building in the Moqqattam neighborhood with molotov cocktails, birdshot and stones, said Gehad al-Haddad, a spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood.
The opposition National Salvation Front said protesters will remain in the streets until the fall of the regime.
A leading opposition figure told AFP on Sunday that Egypt’s army should intervene Mursi refuses to step down in response to calls from anti-government protests.

“The armed forces must act, because they have always been on the side of the people,” which “has expressed its will”, said Hamdeen Sabahi, who came third in the 2012 presidential election, running as a left-wing nationalist candidate.

Opposition leaders, who have seen previous protest waves fizzle after a few days in December and January, were to meet on Monday afternoon to plot their next move, Reuters news agency reported.
The Freedom and Justice Party, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, also vowed that the pro-Mursi coalition will also remain in sit-ins to defend until opposition end their rallies.
As Egypt appeared deeply divided on Sunday with the escalation of violence, the office of the president said it was open for dialogue with the opposition.
“Dialogue is the only way through which we can reach an understanding... The presidency is open to a real and serious national dialogue,” presidential spokesman Ehab Fahmy said in a press interview broadcast by Al Arabiya.
Fahmy called on protesters to maintain “the peaceful nature” of their protest, describing anti-Mursi demonstrations as an example of free expression in Egypt.
Interviewed by a British newspaper, Mursi repeated his determination to ride out what he sees as an undemocratic attack on his electoral legitimacy. But he also offered to revise the new, Islamist-inspired constitution, saying clauses on religious authority, which fueled liberal resentment, were not his choice.
(With AFP and Reuters)










Biggest Demonstrations in Egyptian History: Millions Demand President Morsi Step Down

Posted on 07/01/2013 by Juan Cole
The Egyptian military estimated that “millions” of Egyptian demonstrated on Sunday to demand early presidential elections, only one year into the four-year term of President Muhammad Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood. The nationwide rallies were, the military said, the largest in Egyptian history.
The army estimated that 500,000 gathered at Maydan al-Tahrir in Cairo, and 100,000 in downtown Alexandria, demanding that Morsi “depart!”
The streets leading into Tahrir were so packed that late arrivers could not reach the Square. Tens of thousands of protesters marched from the Square to the Ittihadiya presidential palace, chanting “The people want the fall of the regime” and chanting against the Muslim Brotherhood from which the president hails, calling for the fall of the rule of the Supreme Guide (Muhammad Badi` is the head of the Brotherhood, and they were accusing Morsi of being his puppet). A slide show of images is here.
Demonstrations were also held in provincial towns and cities all over the country, including Alexandria, Minufiya, Kafr Sheikh, Asyut, Ismailia, Port Said, and many others. For the most part, Sunday’s rallies were peaceful, amazingly so given the millions involved. But there were a few exceptions, and at least 5 people died in violence. In Port Said a bomb appears to have gone off, killing a journalist and wounding dozens, but it did not deter a massive crowd from gathering at Martyrs Square. In Asyut a clash occurred between pro- and anti-Mursi crowds that left 4 dead and dozens wounded. Activists in Ismailia on Twitter declared the city a Muslim Brotherhood free zone. Muslim Brotherhood centers were attacked or burned in some provincial towns. In the Muqattam Hills above Cairo, thugs set fire to the HQ of the Freedom and Justice Party of the Muslim Brotherhood. The activists had not called for protests in Muqattam, so this criminal act issued from other quarters, very possibly from Mubarak supporters still sore about the supplanting of his party by the Brotherhood.
Much of the protest is economic. Morsi’s government has pursued austerity policies and it has failed to revive tourism or attract substantial productive investment. Egypt’s foreign currency reserves have been cut in half, causing the Egyptian pound to fall in value, and hurting Egyptians, who depend on imported food and fuel. The textile workers of al-Mahalla al-Kubra, whose 2006-2008 strikes were a rallying cry for anti-Mubarak activists, have warned that under Morsi their factories are threatened with closure altogether. Although some of the animus against Morsi comes from liberals and secularists annoyed by his religious fundamentalism, many of the protesters on Sunday were devout Muslims who just object to Morsi’s high-handed style of governing, failed economic policies, and favoritism toward his Muslim Brotherhood base. One banner in Tahrir said, ‘we are for Islam, against the Muslim Brotherhood.’
The army estimated that 20,000 supporters demonstrated for Morsi in the square in front of the Rabi’a al-`Adawiya Mosque in Nasr City, about 5 km from the Ittihadiya Presidential Palace. (The ministry of interior spokesman, a Muslim Brotherhood supporter, gave out completely fantastic estimates of 17 million in the streets throughout the country, the vast majority of them supporting the president. It claimed 4 million at Nasr City, which is quite impossible. As far as I can tell from various reports both in Cairo and the provinces, this allegation is ridiculous on the face of it.)
The anti-Morsi demonstrations were called for by the Rebellion or Tamarrud movement, founded on April 28 and launched on May Day by youth disillusioned with Morsi, some of whom had voted for him, including Mahmoud Badr. Some of the Rebellion activists came out of the youth wing (Youth for Change) of the Kefaya (Enough!) movement founded to protest the dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak in 2004.
The Rebellion Movement deployed two protest tactics. One was the gathering of signatures on a petition asking Morsi to step down. I was in Egypt in early June and found these petitions were everywhere, and I was handed them more than once myself. Rebellion sought to gather 15 million signatures, since Morsi had won the presidency last year with about 13 million votes to 12 million votes for his rival, Ahmad Shafiq. They figured 15 million signatures against him would demonstrate that he had lost his popular mandate. In the event, Badr says that Rebellion was able to gather 22 million signatures to its petition asking for early presidential elections. (Morsi was elected to a 4-year term in June, 2012 but Rebellion wants him to step down and to hold new elections immediately).
The second tactic was to call for massive rallies and sit-ins beginning June 30, the anniversary of Morsi’s election, which they envisage continuing until Morsi meets their demand. That is,the millions in the street on Sunday were not gathered, as some Muslim Brotherhood officials alleged, for “just one day.” Rebellion gave Morsi until Tuesday to step down, and if he doesn’t, they plan further huge rallies, including on Tuesday and then Friday.
There is no provision in either the 1971 or the 2012 Egyptian constitution for the president to be recalled, so the demands of the youth are technically unconstitutional. But from their point of view, Morsi’s behavior last fall, in putting himself above the law and pushing through a controversial constitution with some fundamentalist implications, were crimes of a Nixonian sort, and so they are demanding he resign rather as Americans demanded that Tricky Dick resign,in 1975. In contrast to Nixon, however, Morsi’s support has not collapsed and he isn’t in danger of being impeached (there is no elected parliament at the moment). The only part of the elite that could force him out of office is the army, and a military coup could not possibly be good for Egyptian democracy. Ironically, from February 2011 through August of 2012, the main demand of the activist youth was that the army return to its barracks. To be fair, the youth are not demanding army intervention, they are demanding a kind of California-style recall of the executive and early elections.





http://rt.com/news/egypt-anniversary-morsi-protests-444/


4 dead, scores injured as millions take to the streets in Egypt to demand Morsi resignation

Published time: June 30, 2013 18:00 


Huge crowds have gathered across Egypt to demand the resignation of President Mohammed Morsi on the first anniversary of his inauguration. But Morsi loyalists are staging counter-demonstrations, saying they will defend the leader with all means available.

Four people have been killed and over 200 injured on Sunday as millions took to the streets. All four dead were shot in Nile Valley towns south of Cairo, one in Beni Suef and three in Assiut. 

"It is the biggest protest in Egypt's history," a military source told AFP on condition of anonymity. 

From early on Sunday, throngs streamed towards Tahrir Square in Cairo – the birthplace of the protests that displaced former president Hosni Mubarak in 2011 – under the rallying cry of “Leave, Morsi! Leave!”. The organizers, an activist movement called Tamarod, or Rebellion, asked demonstrators – who include pro-democratic secularists, religious minorities, and those suffering in Egypt’s stuttering economy – to leave their party allegiances at home, and bring only national flags to the rally.

“Morsi you have split the people!” chanted the crowd, with some holding placards saying “Freedom to Egypt!”. On the edges of the square banners declared “No Muslim Brotherhood members allowed beyond this point”.


Protesters wave Egyptian flags as demonstrators opposing Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi shout slogans against him and Brotherhood members during a protest at Tahrir Square in Cairo June 30, 2013. (Reuters/Mohamed Abd El Ghany)
Protesters wave Egyptian flags as demonstrators opposing Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi shout slogans against him and Brotherhood members during a protest at Tahrir Square in Cairo June 30, 2013. (Reuters/Mohamed Abd El Ghany)


Although, the organized demonstration was scheduled for the evening, even by mid-afternoon, several hundred thousand people squeezed into the increasingly tight space. Tamarod says it is expecting up to 7 million people to eventually join the long-planned protest, with large demonstrations scheduled in every significant population center. 

Tamarod says that since April it has gathered more than 22 million signatures demanding Morsi’s resignation, far more than the 13 million votes the long-time Muslim Brotherhood member received in his narrow run-off victory a year ago. Organizers say the president must quit immediately and dissolve the Islamist-dominated Shura Council, the upper chamber of parliament that has been in charge of lawmaking for the past year.
Additionally, protesters are appealing for a re-start on the suspended drafting of a new constitution. Failure to agree on a new founding charter in the wake of Mubarak’s toppling has contributed to the gridlock that has paralyzed the country’s political institutions. A new parliamentary election is also on the list of demands, after the Supreme Court dismissed the pro-Morsi lower house of the legislative assembly last year immediately following the vote, for alleged procedural violations in the run-up to the balloting.
An opponent of Egypt's Islamist President Mohamed Morsi shouts slogans while waving his national flag during a protest calling for his ouster outside the presidential palace in Cairo on June 30, 2013 (AFP Photo / Khaled Desouki)
An opponent of Egypt's Islamist President Mohamed Morsi shouts slogans while waving his national flag during a protest calling for his ouster outside the presidential palace in Cairo on June 30, 2013 (AFP Photo / Khaled Desouki)
On Sunday night, anti-Morsi activists torched the office of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), the Muslim Brotherhood’s political arm, in the city of Beni Suef, and one man was killed in a later street battle between pro and anti-Morsi activists in the same city. 
Anti-Morsi protesters also tried to storm the heavily-fortified headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood on Sunday evening, using shotguns, rocks and firebombs, but were repelled. 
At least five other offices of the FJP and the Brotherhood have been set on fire in the past week, with seven dead and more than 600 injured, according to local newspapers.
Photo from Twitter/@gelhaddad
Photo from Twitter/@gelhaddad
Opposition activists have successfully blocked off several highways and railroads between major urban centers. At some sites state media reported that police officers joined in chanting anti-Morsi slogans with the protesters. Senior interior security force officers have openly clashed with Morsi, and the police has said that it “lacks manpower” to protect Muslim Brotherhood properties around the country, despite repeated attacks.
Protesters opposing Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi waves Egyptian flags during a protest in front of the presidential palace in Cairo June 30, 2013. (Reuters/Suhaib Salem)
Protesters opposing Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi waves Egyptian flags during a protest in front of the presidential palace in Cairo June 30, 2013. (Reuters/Suhaib Salem)
Despite rising tension, Morsi has decisively rejected the protesters’ calls.
"If we changed someone in office who was elected according to constitutional legitimacy – well, there will be people opposing the new president too, and a week or a month later they will ask him to step down,” the president told the Guardian newspaper on the eve of the demonstrations.
He has also dismissed the crowd as “remnants of the old regime”, and the protesters as “paid-up thugs.”
“Any revolution has its enemies and there are some people who are trying to obstruct the path of the Egyptian people towards democracy,” Morsi summed up.
This is unlikely to pacify those in Tahrir Square crying out for a “second revolution”.
Opposition figures say Morsi has mishandled the mandate handed to him a year ago by attempting to monopolize power, sidelining all those who do not share his religious and political vision. They cite the insertion of divisive Islamic articles into the proposed text of the new constitution, en-masse appointment of Muslim Brotherhood officials to key posts, and a decree that removed the Supreme Court’s authority to challenge the president’s decisions as some of the major missteps.
Thousands of opponents of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi pray during a protest calling for his ouster at Cairo's landmark Tahrir Square on June 30, 2013 (AFP Photo / Khaled Desouki)
Thousands of opponents of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi pray during a protest calling for his ouster at Cairo's landmark Tahrir Square on June 30, 2013 (AFP Photo / Khaled Desouki)
They also say that the president has failed to revive the economy. Despite GDP growth of 2.2 percent last year, the country has been plagued by electricity and fuel shortages that have seen huge queues form outside petrol stations. Income in tourist areas has also plummeted after two years of instability and anti-Western pronouncements by Morsi-supporting radical clerics.
“We gave Morsi the permit to drive; he doesn't know how to drive. The country is decaying and is failing, this is not Egypt and this is not the revolution,” Mohammed ElBaradei, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and opposition politician said ahead of the rallies.
With strident language on both sides, the stand-off is unlikely to resolve neatly.
Since Friday, Morsi supporters have camped outside a mosque in Nasr City, on the other side of Cairo. Brandishing green Islamic flags, some were wearing home-made armor, and most told journalists they would be ready to physically fight for the “legitimate” president.
Supporters of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi hold copies of the Koran during a protest around the Raba El-Adwyia mosque square in Nasr City, in the suburb of Cairo June 30, 2013. (Reuters)
Supporters of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi hold copies of the Koran during a protest around the Raba El-Adwyia mosque square in Nasr City, in the suburb of Cairo June 30, 2013. (Reuters)
Supporters of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi shout slogans during a protest around the Raba El-Adwyia mosque square in Nasr City, a suburb of Cairo, June 30, 2013 (Reuters)
Supporters of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi shout slogans during a protest around the Raba El-Adwyia mosque square in Nasr City, a suburb of Cairo, June 30, 2013 (Reuters)
“If there is treason, we are here,” warned Ahmed Abdel Azeez, a Brotherhood member, in an interview with New York Times. 
The army, which stepped in to temporarily assume power following the clashes that followed Mubarak’s unseating, said it will not tolerate an “attack on the will of the people” or allow Egypt to enter “a dark tunnel of conflict”. The ambiguous remarks, uttered by defense minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, have been taken to mean by local media that the army will not interfere in the course of the protests, unless direct confrontation between the conflicting factions takes place.
On Sunday, army helicopters flew over the Cairo skyline and heavier than usual army cordons were deployed around key sites, including government buildings and the Suez Canal. Mechanized infantry units have been placed around Tahrir Square itself, and all hospitals in major cities are on standby.
The country’s land borders have also been sealed.
US, Qatar and Belgium are amongst states that have officially revealed that they are withdrawing their diplomats for the duration of the showdown. On Sunday Cairo airport was crowded with foreign nationals and wealthy Egyptians attempting to leave the country on predominantly fully-booked flights.

http://rt.com/news/cairo-protesters-brotherhood-hq-454/

Shotguns, petrol bombs and rocks: Scores of protesters try to storm Muslim Brotherhood HQ in Cairo

Published time: June 30, 2013 18:18
Edited time: June 30, 2013 21:21
Photo from Twitter/@gelhaddad
Photo from Twitter/@gelhaddad
Opponents of President Mohammed Morsi have attempted to storm the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo, the organization’s spokesman has said. Four people have been killed and over 200 injured on Sunday as millions took to the streets.
Violence had been widely anticipated ahead of Sunday’s multi-million-strong countrywide protests against the president on the anniversary of his inauguration, demanding his resignation. 
Gehad El-Haddad, the spokesman for the Brotherhood, which nominated Morsi as its candidate ahead of last year’s elections, said several dozen protesters shot at the windows with shotguns, and threw Molotov cocktails and rocks at the building, which had been fortified in recent weeks. 
El-Haddad said the attackers were successfully repelled.  
All four dead were shot in Nile Valley towns south of the capital, one in Beni Suef and three in Assiut. 
Millions took to the streets on Sunday to demand the resignation of President Mohammed Morsi on the first anniversary of his inauguration. "It is the biggest protest in Egypt's history," a military source told AFP on condition of anonymity. 
Regional offices of the Muslim Brotherhood, and its political affiliate, the Freedom and Justice Party, have come under a barrage of attacks over the past week. At least seven people – including an American bystander – have been killed during the torchings, with an estimated 600 suffering injuries.
Police, who have persistently feuded with Morsi, and have mostly ignored his instructions in recent weeks (news reports showed some police officers joining anti-government demonstrations on Sunday) said they had no intention of safeguarding Brotherhood buildings, due to “a lack of manpower.”



HQ office in under attack by 150+ unrecognisable thugs w/ Molotov cocktail, Cartouche & stones. pic.twitter.com/9Dy22iklpw


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