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

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in pubic More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies More

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.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid