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Army intervention a possibility: Defence Minister

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Defence minister says the Armed Forces’ responsibility necessitates potential intervention to prevent “collapse”

Abdel Fatah El-Sisi, Minister of Defence (AFP/Photo)

Minister of Defence Abdul Fatah Al-Sisi said the leadership has avoided involvement in the political scene but its national responsibility may necessitate an intervention
(AFP/ File Photo)

Minister of Defence Abdul Fatah Al-Sisi said Sunday that the military is ready to intervene in domestic politics.
Al-Sisi said that while the military has avoided entering the political arena, its national and ethical responsibility towards the Egyptian people necessitates intervention to prevent the country from “slipping down a dark tunnel of criminality, treason, sectarian strife, or collapse of state institutions.”
Since taking over in August, the current leadership of the Armed Forces has insisted on staying out of political affairs and has turned its attention towards raising combat efficiency, Al-Sisi said.

 

He added that while the military has avoided entering the political arena, its national and ethical responsibility towards the Egyptian people necessitates intervention to prevent the country from “slipping down a dark tunnel of criminality, treason, sectarian strife, or collapse of state institutions.”

Society remains “in a state of division, the continuation of which is a threat to the Egyptian nation,” he said, adding that the military “will not remain silent as the country slips into an uncontrollable conflict” as they are “fully responsible for protecting… the will of the people.”

He went on to call “repeated offences to the military … offences to Egyptian nationalism and the entire Egyptian people,” saying that the Armed Forces would “not remain silent in the face of such insults,” as they represent “a threat to national security.”

He finally called on all concerned to find “common ground for understanding, consensus and real reconciliation to protect Egypt and its people.”

Military expert at the Al-Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies Mohamed Qadry Saeed believes that Al-Sisi is covering his bases in the lead-up to the 30 June protests. “It is obvious from the developments so far that the situation is dangerous. People are going out to the streets in large numbers and clashes are likely. We are approaching a political disaster.”

He said Al-Sisi is responding to the situation by saying that while it is not their job, the military will intervene if necessary.

Saeed said Al-Sisi had previously stated the military’s intention to not get involved in politics, but noted that situation has since become much more dire.

He added that the military is therefore implying that Egypt has reached a similar set of circumstances to those which prompted their intervention during the 25 January Revolution.


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