Egypt's top general calls for Friday rallies
A picture of Egyptian military chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi hangs in Tahrir Square. (Getty file photo)
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Egyptian military chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi called for nationwide rallies on Friday to grant him a mandate against what he termed violence and terrorism following the ousting of Islamist President Mohammad Mursi.
"Next Friday, all honourable Egyptians must take to the street to give me a mandate and command to end terrorism and violence," he said in a speech on Wednesday at a military graduation ceremony.
It was an apparent reference to a series of attacks by suspected Islamist militants in the Sinai Peninsula and the violence taking place nationwide between supporters and opponents of Mursi.
General Sisi denied accusations that he had betrayed Mursi and vowed to stick to a political roadmap that laid the way for a reform of the constitution and new elections within some six months.
He said his appeal for protests on Friday was not a call for violence and expressed support for efforts for national reconciliation.
Senior Muslim Brotherhood politician Essam al-Erian said the army’s call for rallies on Friday is a threat, and will not stop pro-Mursi protests, according to Reuters.