Egypt’s Defense Minister Warns of “State Collapse”

Al Arabiya30.01.2013 Egypt
Egypt’s Defense Minister Warns of “State Collapse”

Egypt’s Defense Minister Warns of “State Collapse”

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Struggle among political forces in Egypt could lead to the collapse of the country, Head of the Armed Forced warned on Tuesday.

“The continuation of the struggle of the different political forces ... over the management of state affairs could lead to the collapse of the state,” Chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sissi (photo) wrote on the Army’s Facebook page.

Chief General Sissi, who is also the Defense Minister, said that the political and economic challenges represent “real threat” to Egypt’s security, adding that the protection of Suez Canal was an essential reason for the Army’s deployment.

On Monday, Egyptian protesters defied an overnight curfew in restive towns along the Suez Canal, attacking police stations after President Mohammed Mursi imposed emergency rule to end days of clashes that have left at least 52 people dead.

After Sissi’s statement, the salafist Nour party said that no one political faction can rule Egypt and that an investigation was needed over the violence that left dozens of people killed across the country.

Political opponents spurned a call by Mursi for talks on Monday to try to end the violence. Instead, huge crowds of protesters took to the streets in Cairo and Alexandria, and in the three Suez Canal cities - Port Said, Ismailia and Suez - where Mursi imposed emergency rule and a curfew on Sunday.

The major opposition parties grouped in the National Salvation Front, led by reform leader and Nobel Peace Laureate Mohamed El-Baradei, are seeking to leverage the turmoil roiling the country to break the Islamists' hold on power and force Mursi to make concessions.

El-Baradei and other front leaders said they would only accept his invitation to join a national dialogue to resolve the crisis if he agreed first to form a national unity government and a commission to rewrite what they see as contentious parts of an Islamist-backed constitution adopted in a referendum last month.

The rejection of Mursi’s offer is likely to lend more weight to El-Baradei and his colleagues in the Salvation Front at a time when protesters on the streets are increasingly showing their independence from politicians, voicing a wide range of non-political grievances.

Source: Al Arabiya – Photo: AFP



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