Egypt’s military gives politicians a 48-hour ultimatum

 

By Ayman Mohyeldin and Charlene Gubash, NBC News

CAIRO – Egypt’s military ordered President Mohammed Morsi’s government to meet with opposition leaders within 48 hours on Monday after 16 people were killed during mass protests demanding the Islamist politician’s resignation.

In a statement read on state television, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi called the demonstrations against Morsi an “unprecedented” expression of the popular will.

And he said that if the people’s demands were not met within its deadline the armed forces would develop a road map to resolve the crisis and oversee the plan’s implementation.

“If the demands of the people are not realized within the defined period, it will be incumbent upon (the armed forces)… to announce a road map for the future,” said the statement by al-Sisi, the military’s chief of staff. It was followed by patriotic music.

Al-Sisi stressed that the military would remain neutral in politics and maintain its role as protector of the people and the nation’s borders.

The statement said the armed forces had a responsibility to act because Egypt’s national security was facing a “grave danger.”

A source at Egypt’s presidential palace said Morsi’s office was not told in advance that the 48-hour ultimatum would be issued.

Amr Nabil / AP

The headquarters of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood was ransacked as widespread protests against President Mohammed Morsi turned violent.

In Cairo’s Tahrir Square, the crowd began to chant that the army and the people were one after al-Sisi spoke.

As al-Sisi spoke, President Barack Obama urged all sides to refrain from violence shortly after he arrived in Tanzania.

Early Monday anti-government protesters ransacked the headquarters of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo.

That followed a day of violence that left at least 16 people dead and more than 700 injured in protests throughout the country.

The attack on the Brotherhood building was bloodiest incident of the weekend’s huge and mostly peaceful protests against Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Full story http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/07/01/19229528-egypts-military-gives-politicians-a-48-hour-ultimatum

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