Egypt crisis : Cabinet discusses political crisis Aug 18, 2013 15:00:32 GMT
Post by Focus on Aug 18, 2013 15:00:32 GMT
Egypt's cabinet is discussing the crisis in the country, where hundreds have died in clashes in recent days.
The Muslim Brotherhood has called on supporters to march to the Supreme Constitutional Court in Cairo
Interim Prime Minister Hazem Beblawi has put forward a proposal to legally dissolve the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Islamist movement is demanding the reinstatement of Mohammed Morsi, who was ousted as president last month.
Meanwhile, the commander of the armed forces, Gen Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, has warned that his troops will not stand by silently in the face of violence.
"Whoever imagines violence will make the state and Egyptians kneel must reconsider; we will never be silent in the face of the destruction of the country," he said in a statement posted on Facebook.
He also said his message to Morsi supporters was that there was "room for everyone in Egypt" and the military had no intention to seize power.
Two pro-Morsi demonstrations in Cairo on Sunday afternoon were earlier cancelled.
Sources in the Muslim Brotherhood told reporters that the decision was made because of the "presence of snipers on buildings along the routes of the marches". The claim could not be verified.
The Brotherhood has called for daily demonstrations since security forces cleared its protest camps in Cairo on Wednesday and declared a state of emergency.
More than 600 people were killed during the clearances including dozens of security forces personnel.
Further clashes during a "day of rage" called by the Brotherhood on Friday left at least another 173 people across the country dead, including 95 in the capital and 25 in Alexandria.
Sunday's meeting of the interim government is expected to discuss Mr Beblawi's proposal for the legal dissolution of the Muslim Brotherhood.
The 85-year-old Islamist movement was banned by Egypt's military rulers in 1954, but registered itself as a non-governmental organization in March in response to a court case bought by opponents who contested its legal status.
The Brotherhood also has a legally registered political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party, which was set up in June 2011 as a "non-theocratic" group after the uprising that forced former President Hosni Mubarak from power.
Our reporter in Cairo says that if a new ban went ahead it could force the group underground and allow its sources of funding to be targeted.
Deputy Prime Minister Ziad Bahaa al-Din, a more liberal figure, is said to have put forward a proposal that would see an end to the state of emergency, permission for political participation by all parties and a guarantee of human rights, including the right to free assembly.
But Mr Beblawi has taken a tougher stance, saying: "There will be no reconciliation with those whose hands have been stained with blood and who turned weapons against the state and its institutions."
And at a news conference on Sunday, the interim Foreign Minister, Nabil Fahmy, showed video clips apparently showing armed protesters firing in Cairo.
He said the government was faced with an attempt to undermine the state.
"It was all meant to intimidate citizens. It was meant to spread insecurity and shake the foundation of the state.
None of these goals is acceptable and we stood up and we will continue to stand up to all these violent acts in accordance with the law - firmly, strictly and with prudence."
Mr Fahmy said security forces personnel had shown restraint, without which the loss of life would have been even higher.
More than 1,000 Muslim Brotherhood members have been detained in raids across the country, with the interior ministry saying that bombs, weapons and ammunition have been seized.
At least 300 were arrested in several cities on Sunday, including Cairo, Alexandria, Assiut and Suez, security sources said.
Many people were also arrested after Morsi supporters exchanged fire with security forces at a mosque in central Cairo, where protesters had sought refuge on Friday.
The alliance says Mr Morsi is the country's elected leader and must be reinstated, calling the interim administration illegitimate.
It says that sons and daughters of leadership figures have been targeted in an attempt to gain leverage. Among those killed on Friday was a son of the Brotherhood's General Guide, Mohammed Badie.
EU reviews ties
On Sunday, the European Union said it would be reviewing its relationship at an emergency meeting next week.
Footage from Ismailiya shows a Morsi supporter confronting tanks on Friday. The unverified video shows the man then being shot and falling
Cabinet discusses political crisis - video:
The presidents of the European Commission and European Council, Jose Manuel Barroso and Herman Van Rompuy, said in a joint statement calls for democracy and fundamental rights "cannot be disregarded, much less washed away in blood".
It added that the violence and killings "cannot be justified nor condoned".
The EU has pledged several billion dollars in loans and grants to Egypt.
Mr Fahmy sought to pre-empt any attempt by the West to compel the interim authorities to back down by announcing that he would be reviewing all foreign assistance.
"I want to determine what is useful and what is not and what aid is being used to pressure Egypt and whether this aid has good intentions and credibility.
We will proceed based on our findings," he told reporters.
The sooner the MB is annihilated the better!! - Fx