Egypt defense minister: army will intervene to prevent internal strife
Egyptian soldiers (File photo used for illustrative purposes / AFP)
Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said Sunday that the moral responsibility of the army towards the people compels it to intervene and prevent the country from sliding into a dark tunnel of conflict, internal strife, criminality, and treason, and to prevent the possibility of an eventual collapse of the state.
He also called on all political forces to find a formula of understanding and genuine reconciliation to protect Egypt and its people, pointing out that there is still a week to 30 June in which this could be achieved.
He added that his call stems from his love for the country and its future.
Attending a seminar organized by the armed forces on Sunday, Sisi said that the army is fully aware of the country's internal affairs, although it is not participating or intervening in them. “We are impartial and neutral,” he said. “Our loyalty is to Egypt and its great people.”
He added that since he assumed responsibility in August, he has insisted on staying away from politics, preferring to concentrate on improving the combat efficiency and the strength of personnel and equipment in the armed forces. “We have taken a huge leap in just eight months,” he said.
“There are societal divisions that are threatening the state,” he said. “And we will not stand still and watch the country slide into chaos.”
“The relationship between the army and the people is impenetrable,” he added. “And we will fully protect the will of the people from any infringement.”
“We will not allow anyone to intimidate or terrorize the people,” he said. “We would rather die than let that happen.”
Sisi also warned against insulting the army or its leadership. “That would be tantamount to insulting the whole nation,” he said. “The army is one solid foundation whose leadership is trusted.”
By Dalia Othman