Egyptian army chief General Abdel Fattah el-Sissi has officially announced that he is resigning from the armed forces so he can run in a presidential election he is expected to easily win.
In a speech on state television Wednesday, the general said Egypt is threatened by terrorists, and that now is the time to restore and rebuild the country with dignity.
He warned that he could not fix the country's problems, such as a poor economy and high unemployment, alone, and that everyone must work to rebuild Egypt.
"We must retain this country's character and status. It has been through a lot in the last few years. Our role now is to retrieve Egypt and rebuild it - our task is to retrieve Egypt and rebuild it.
Sissi described Egypt as a country that deserves respect and criticized what he called the occasional interference in the last few years by foreign and regional actions in both politics and media.
"Egypt is not a playground for any internal, regional or international party and will never be. We do not intervene in other's people's business and we will not allow others to interfere in our own."
Sissi's decision to run for president has been widely expected, and will likely have the explicit backing of Egypt's powerful military.
Sissi, who also served as defense minister, was the principal military figure in last year's ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, following months of mass protests against his rule.
Earlier Wednesday, Egyptian security forces and supporters of the ousted president clashed, leaving one person dead. Egyptian officials say at least eight people were wounded in the fighting near Cairo University.
Riot police fired tear gas at students demonstrating against this week's court ruling that sentenced 529 Muslim Brotherhood members to death for murdering a police officer, attacking a police station and other acts of violence.
Security forces and students also clashed in the Nile Delta city of Zagazig.