News / Middle East

    Egypt Interim Leader Pledges to Protect Country from Chaos

    This image pulled from video broadcast on Egyptian state TV shows interim President Adly Mansour making his first address to the nation since assuming his post after the ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, in Cairo, July 18, 2013.
    This image pulled from video broadcast on Egyptian state TV shows interim President Adly Mansour making his first address to the nation since assuming his post after the ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, in Cairo, July 18, 2013.
    Reuters
    Egypt's interim President Adly Mansour promised on Thursday to fight those driving the nation towards chaos, hours before the Muslim Brotherhood plans mass protests to demand the return of ousted Islamist leader Mohamed Morsi.
     
    Brotherhood supporters will take to the streets on Friday in their campaign to reverse the military overthrow of Egypt's first free-elected president, but the movement also gave a first sign of willingness to negotiate with its opponents.
     
    Mansour pledged in his first public address since he was sworn in on July 4 to restore stability and security.
     
    “We are going through a critical stage and some want us to move towards chaos and we want to move towards stability. Some want a bloody path,” he said in a televised address. “We will fight a battle for security until the end.”

    The rallies aim to show Mohamed Morsi's supporters are not ready to accept the new military-backed government. However, a Brotherhood official also told Reuters on Thursday that the movement had proposed a framework for talks mediated by the European Union.

    Sworn into office on Tuesday, the cabinet of interim premier Hazem el-Beblawy busied itself with tackling the nation's many woes, buying foreign wheat to replenish stocks and banking $3 billion in badly needed aid from the United Arab Emirates.

    Still stunned by the July 3 toppling of Morsi, his Muslim Brotherhood, and allies grouped in what it calls the National Alliance for Legitimacy, urged nationwide rallies on Friday, predicting millions would take to the streets.

    “To every free Egyptian man and woman: Come out against the bloody military coup,” the alliance said in a statement.

    Brotherhood official Gehad el-Haddad, who represented the movement in previous EU-facilitated talks with other political groups, told Reuters that the organization would not retreat from its demand for the reinstatement of Morsi, Egypt's first freely-elected leader.

    However, signaling for the first time a formal readiness for negotiations, he said the Brotherhood had proposed through an EU envoy a framework for talks to resolve Egypt's crisis. “We never close the door to dialogue,” Haddad said.

    The EU envoy, Bernardino Leon, said the two sides remained far apart. Observers say it is hard to imagine the army letting Morsi return to power. The military has denied orchestrating a coup, saying it intervened to prevent chaos following mammoth protests on June 30 against Morsi's much-criticized, year-long rule.

    Egypt, the most populous nation in the Arab world, is a strategic hinge between the Middle East and North Africa and has long been a vital U.S. ally in the region.

    War worries

    The African Union warned on Thursday that Egypt risked being engulfed by civil war unless its government embraced Islamists - none of whom were included in the 33-strong new cabinet.

    Egypt's Nour Party, the country's second-biggest Islamist group which had initially backed a military-led roadmap to guide the country to new elections, said on Thursday the government would have to seek a way forward with the Muslim Brotherhood.

    “I believe that those in power need to realize that increasing pressure on the Muslim Brotherhood and playing down the emotions of their supporters will lead to extremely bad results,” Nour Party spokesman Nader Bakkar told Reuters TV.

    Supporters of Egypt's ousted president, Mohamed Morsi, shout slogans at a park in front of Cairo University, July 18, 2013.Supporters of Egypt's ousted president, Mohamed Morsi, shout slogans at a park in front of Cairo University, July 18, 2013.
    x
    Supporters of Egypt's ousted president, Mohamed Morsi, shout slogans at a park in front of Cairo University, July 18, 2013.
    Supporters of Egypt's ousted president, Mohamed Morsi, shout slogans at a park in front of Cairo University, July 18, 2013.
    At least 99 people have died in street clashes since Morsi's downfall, more than half of them when troops fired on Islamist protesters outside a Cairo barracks on July 8.

    A security source told the official Middle East News Agency that policing would be intensified at “all important and vital facilities” on Friday.

    Tamarod, the movement which organized the massive anti-Morsi protests, has also called for rallies on Friday, including one close to a Cairo intersection where thousands of Brotherhood supporters have been holding a vigil for weeks.

    It dubbed the rallies “the people against terrorism”, blaming Morsi followers for recent violence.

    Three members of the security forces were killed overnight in attacks blamed on Islamist militants in the Sinai peninsula, which borders Israel and the Gaza Strip. The militants have pledged to continue the fight until the return of Morsi, who has been held in an undisclosed location since his ouster.

    Economic woes

    Amongst the many accusations leveled against Morsi was mismanagement of the economy. The budget deficit has soared to about $3.2 billion a month, foreign reserves are more than 50 percent below their December 2010 levels and unemployment is more than 13 percent.

    Bread has traditionally been one of Egypt's most explosive issues and an ex-minister from Morsi's government said last week that the country had less than two months' supply of imported wheat in its stocks, well below its preferred six-month supply.

    Looking to narrow the shortfall, Egypt's main wheat-buying agency, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), bought 300,000 tons of wheat from global suppliers - only the second such purchase since February.

    The cash-strapped government got a boost with the arrival of aid from the UAE, part of $12 billion that Gulf Arab states pledged after Morsi's removal. Saudi Arabia is due to transfer $2 billion in the coming days, Egypt's central bank said.

    The funds should buy the cabinet time to try and fix Egypt's numerous problems, although analysts have warned it might also persuade officials to delay difficult decisions needed to fix the struggling economy.

    You May Like

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora