The protection of all peaceful demonstrators, no matter their cause, is the responsibility of the government, said Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi during a Thursday press conference.
The interim prime minister said the state would deal with all protesters in the same manner, whether they were in Rabaa Al-Adaweya, where supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi have been staying, or Tahrir Square, where those heeding Commander-in-Chief Abdul Fatah Al-Sisi’s call for demonstrations will gather on Friday.
El-Beblawi said the armed forces will carry out its duties of not only protecting the country’s borders, but also guarding state institutions throughout the country.
El-Beblawi welcomed the demonstrations as long as they remain peaceful and said the army and police forces stand behind demonstrations within the limits of the law.
According to armed forces spokesman Colonel Ahmed Ali, Al-Sisi did not intend to threaten any specific group during his Wednesday speech, and the call for demonstrations was against violence and terrorism in general “which is inconsistent with the nature of the Egyptian people, threatens the gains of their revolution and the security of the community.”
The armed forces also said it had coordinated with the Ministry of Interior to ensure that Friday’s demonstrations remained peaceful “with no manifestations of violence or terrorism.”
The Muslim Brotherhood, who will participate in simultaneous demonstrations on Friday calling for the reinstatement of Morsi as president, strongly criticised Al-Sisi’s speech, calling it a “call for civil war.”