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Egypt justice minister denies cabinet has resigned
CAIRO - Egypt's justice minister denied an al-Arabiya television report that the government had resigned on Tuesday after the armed forces gave President Mohamed Mursi 48 hours to agree to share power in response to mass protests.
"The government has not submitted its resignation and what has been raised on that matter is not true," Justice Minister Ahmed Suleiman told reporters after a meeting of the rump cabinet under Prime Minister Hisham Kandil.
Six ministers who are not members of the ruling Muslim Brotherhood submitted their resignations on Monday, and the official MENA news agency said the ministers of defence and the interior did not attend the cabinet session.
(Reporting by Patrick Werr; Writing by Paul Taylor)
Egypt's justice minister denies Al-Arabiya TV report that the government has resigned.
Supporters of Egypt's President Mohamed Mursi hold up posters of him as they shout slogans during a protest to show their support for him near Cairo University July 2, 2013. The poster reads, "No substitute for the legitimacy." REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah
A female supporter of Egypt's President Mohamed Mursi holds a poster with his image, while others shout slogans during a protest in support of Mursi near Cairo University July 2, 2013. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah
A little more detail on the U.N. comments:
Egypt must engage in "serious national dialogue", U.N. says
GENEVA - The U.N. human rights office called on President Mohamed Mursi on Tuesday to listen to the demands of the Egyptian people and engage in a "serious national dialogue" to defuse the political crisis.
Rupert Colville, spokesman of U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, also said the role of the military, which gave Mursi a 48-hour ultimatum on Monday to resolve the impasse after mass anti-government protests, was crucial.
"We call on the president of Egypt to listen to the demands and wishes of the Egyptian people expressed during these huge protests over the past few days, and to address key issues raised by the opposition and by civil society in recent months," he told a news briefing in Geneva.
"We urge all political parties and social groups in Egypt to urgently engage in a serious national dialogue in order to find a solution to the political crisis and prevent an escalation of violence."
Asked about the role of the military, Colville said: "We're talking hopefully about a newly developing democracy in Egypt, so obviously what the military does or doesn't do is crucial. Nothing should be done that would undermine democratic processes in the country."
Mursi has rebuffed the army ultimatum to force a resolution, saying on Tuesday he had not been consulted and would pursue his own plans for national reconciliation.
"Egypt's democracy is obviously very fragile and nobody wants to see it collapse or fall apart in some way," Colville told Reuters Television.
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay and Vincent Fribault; Editing by Alison Williams)
Meet the five dudes behind Egypt's massive protests http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/02/world/middleeast/egypts-young-activists-rouse-protests-but-leave-next-steps-in-hands-of-public.html?hp&_r=0 by @NYTBenby Blake Hounshell via twitter 7/2/2013 10:47:49 AM
People walk past a big banner in a square where anti-Mursi protesters are gathering in Alexandria, July 2, 2013. The banner reads, "Leave". REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih
An anti-Mursi protester sits in front of a big banner in a square where anti-Mursi protesters gather in Alexandria, July 2, 2013. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih
Egypt stocks surge after army ultimatum on political crisis
CAIRO - Egyptian shares jumped to a three-week high in early trade on Tuesday, a day after the armed forces gave Islamist President Mohamed Mursi a virtual ultimatum to share power.
Local investors believe army intervention in the political crisis could help put an end to 30 months of instability that has frightened away investors and tourists and drained the country's finances.
Nationwide protests against Mursi prompted the army to tell feuding politicians they had 48 hours to compromise or it would impose its own road map for the country.
The bourse's benchmark index jumped 4.9 percent in early trade to its highest point since June 9 after a bank holiday on Monday to mark the start of a new fiscal year.
Share prices fell 12 percent in June on fears that a mass protest called for June 30 might deteriorate into violence, further aggravating a deteriorating economy.
"It's a relief rally. The market has been sold off very heavily in the last few weeks," said Simon Kitchen, strategist for EFG Hermes.
Mursi rebuffed the army ultimatum on Tuesday, saying he had not been consulted and would pursue his own plans for national reconciliation.
But he looked increasingly isolated, with the liberal opposition refusing to talk to him, millions of Egyptians in the street protesting against him and at least five of his ministers resigning from his government.
"The political environment is still very fluid, so its not certain how long this can last," Kitchen said.
Shares soared in companies considered close the government of Hosni Mubarak, who was ousted from the presidency in a 2011 popular uprising.
Private equity firm Citadel Capital jumped by the 10 percent maximum allowed under stock exchange rules. Among property developers Palm Hills rose 9.3 percent and Talaat Moustafa 4.7 percent.
(Reporting by Patrick Werr)
Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi rebuffs a 48 hour ultimatum for him to solve the country's deep political woes. Julie Noce reports.
Our latest wrap-up of events in Egypt:
Egypt on the edge after Mursi rebuffs army ultimatum
By Alastair Macdonald and Alexander Dziadosz
CAIRO - President Mohamed Mursi rebuffed an army ultimatum to force a resolution to Egypt's political crisis, saying on Tuesday that he had not been consulted and would pursue his own plans for national reconciliation.
But the Islamist leader looked increasingly isolated with the liberal opposition refusing to talk to him and the armed forces, backed by millions of protesters in the street, giving him until Wednesday to agree to share power.
Newspapers across the political spectrum saw the army's 48-hour deadline as a turning point. "Last 48 hours of Muslim Brotherhood rule," the opposition daily El Watan declared. "Egypt awaits the army," said the state-owned El Akhbar.
The confrontation has pushed the most populous Arab nation closer to the abyss amid a deepening economic crisis two years after the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak, raising concern in Washington, Europe and neighbouring Israel.
Protesters remained encamped overnight in Cairo's central Tahrir Square and protest leaders have called for another mass rally on Tuesday evening to try to force the president out.
Egypt must engage in "serious national dialogue", U.N. says
GENEVA - The U.N. human rights office called on the government of President Mohamed Mursi on Tuesday to listen to the demands of the Egyptian people and engage in a "serious national dialogue" to defuse the crisis.
Rupert Colville, spokesman of U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, also said the role of the Egyptian military was crucial. "Nothing should be done that would undermine democratic processes," he told a briefing.
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Alison Williams)
U.N. human rights office calls on Egypt government to "listen to the demands and the wishes of the Egyptian people".
Protesters opposing Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi stand on top of electric tram columns and wave Egyptian flags during a protest in front of the El-Thadiya presidential palace in Cairo on the evening of July 1, 2013. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
Egypt's foreign minister tenders resignation: state news agencyEgyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr has tendered his resignation, the state news agency MENA reported early on Tuesday, after millions of Egyptians rallied against President Mohamed Mursi.The report did not elaborate or say where it got the information. At least five other ministers have resigned since Sunday's mass protests.(Writing by Alexander Dziadosz; editing by Christopher Wilson)
Mursi not consulted by army, says plans own pathEgyptian President Mohamed Mursi believes a statement by the head of the armed forces setting a deadline for politicians to forge a consensus risks causing confusion and will stick to his own plan for national reconciliation, his office said in a statement on Tuesday.Noting that Mursi was not consulted in advance by the general who made the announcement, the presidency said it "sees that some of the statements in it carry meanings that could cause confusion in the complex national environment"."The presidency confirms that it is going forward on its path which it planned before to hold comprehensive national reconciliation ... in response to the aspirations of the great Egyptian people and regardless of any statements that deepen divisions between citizens," it said.(Reporting by Tom Perry; Editing by Alastair Macdonald and Christopher Wilson)
"I prefer the army, I want the army to take power. There is nothing greater than our armed forces." -Akram Mahmoud, 50-year old civil servant in Egypt(Reporting by Tom Perry. Additional reporting by Asma Alsharif and Maggie Fick; Editing by Eric Walsh)
BREAKING NEWS: Egypt's Foreign Minister has tendered his resignation: Egyptian state news agency
Egypt's Nour Party fears army return to politics
Egypt's second-largest Islamist party said on Monday it feared the army's return to public life "in a big way" after the military gave politicians 48 hours to resolve the country's political crisis.
The Nour Party believed Egypt's national security was threatened by the division between the ruling Islamists and their opponents, Khaled Alam Eddin told the website of the Al-Ahram newspaper. "But we have fears about a return of the army once again in the picture in a big way," he said.
The party, which has called for dialogue before, later issued a statement on its Facebook page calling on the president to set a date for early presidential elections - one of the main demands of the protesters.
It also called for the formation of a "neutral, technocratic government".
In an earlier statement it called on President Mohamed Mursi to take the "number and diversity" of the demonstrators into consideration and "realise the Egyptian people have legitimate demands that must be answered."
Although it said there were "forces with private agendas" adopting violent tactics, that did not prejudice the demands of the people, which the government and opposition should "place at the top of their political visions".
The party said it was waiting for "bold, practical and rapid steps to heal the rift" and that it was ready to participate in any solution that met public approval.
(Reporting by Tom Perry and Yasmine Saleh; Editing by Alastair Macdonald and Lisa Shumaker)
Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi march with sticks during a protest around the Raba El-Adwyia mosque square in Nasr City, in the suburb of Cairo July 1, 2013. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
Egypt Islamists reject use of army to "assault legitimacy"
An Egyptian Islamist alliance including the Muslim Brotherhood said late on Monday it rejected attempts to use the army to "assault legitimacy" and called for demonstrations to support the president.
Egypt's military gave deadlocked politicians 48 hours to resolve the country's crisis after millions of people protested on Sunday against President Mohamed Mursi.
The National Alliance to Support Legitimacy, which includes Mursi's Brotherhood and its allies, said in a statement it "absolutely and categorically rejects the attempts of some to use this great army to assault legitimacy" in a way that would lead to a "coup against legitimacy and the will of the people."
The group said it respected all initiatives to resolve the country's political crisis but that they had to respect constitutional principles.
It called on supporters to gather in squares across Egypt to "defend legitimacy and express rejection of any coup against it."
Following a news conference where the statement was read out to journalists, Islamists supporters chanted, "Islamic, Islamic," in the streets.
"The army's job is to secure the country and not interfere in politics," one supporter, Mohamed Sabry, said. "Today's statement is a blatant interference in the president's affairs, and we reject that."
(Reporting by Asma Alsharif; Writing by Alexander Dziadosz; Editing by Tom Perry and Peter Cooney)
#Breaking: Islamist National Coalition calls for supporters to take to the streets to protect "legitimacy" of President #Morsi #MBpresserby The Daily News Egypt via twitter 7/1/2013 10:14:44 PM
Protesters demand that Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi resign at Tahrir Square in Cairo July 1, 2013. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany
Top U.S. military officer calls Egyptian counterpart
General Martin Dempsey, the top U.S. military officer, called the chief of staff of Egypt's armed forces on Monday morning, a U.S. defense official told Reuters, without providing details on the conversation.
The call by Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, came the same day Egypt's armed forces handed Islamist President Mohamed Mursi a virtual ultimatum to share power, giving feuding politicians 48 hours to compromise or have the army impose its own road map for the country.
(Reporting by Phil Stewart; Editing by Will Dunham)
Rival Egypt protesters exchange gunfire in Suez: witnesses
Supporters and opponents of Egyptian Islamist President Mohamed Mursi exchanged gunfire in the city of Suez at the mouth of the Suez Canal on Monday, witnesses said.
At least 16 people have been killed in clashes between rival protesters since Sunday, when millions of Egyptians flooded the streets to demand Mursi resign.
"The sound of gunfire is everywhere. Supporters and opponents are going back and forth," said one witness, Karim el-Sayed, in Suez.
(Reporting by Yusri Mohamed; Writing by Alexander Dziadosz; Editing by Kevin Liffey)
Fireworks, laser shows and roasted corn for sale at anti Morsi demo by presidential palaceby nedparkerlat via twitter 7/1/2013 8:43:12 PM
Protesters opposing Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi gather near a lit flare during a protest at Tahrir Square in Cairo, July 1, 2013. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany
Egypt opposition says army move not power grab
Egypt's main opposition bloc said on Monday an army statement which gave feuding politicians 48 hours to compromise did not reflect a desire by the military to take power.
The ultimatum, which said the army would impose its own road map if the government and opposition failed to resolve the country's political crisis, showed that the army respected the "principles of democracy and the will of the nation as a source of power", the National Salvation Front said in a statement.
The group of liberals and leftists, which counts Nobel laureate Mohamed ElBaradei among its leaders, called on Egyptians to continue peaceful protests across the country.
(Reporting by Yasmine Saleh; Writing by Alexander Dziadosz; Editing by Alastair Macdonald)
Egypt army denies "coup," aims to push politicians
The Egyptian armed forces issued a statement on Monday denying that an earlier statement from its commander amounted to a military coup and said his aim was only to push politicians to reach consensus.
Denying any political ambitions for itself, the military said it was responding to the "pulse of the Egyptian street" in issuing an ultimatum to political leaders to unite after mass rallies on Sunday against President Mohamed Mursi.
(Reporting by Yasmine Saleh; Editing by Alastair Macdonald)
Egyptian military helicopters trailing national flags circled over Cairo on Monday after the armed forces gave politicians 48 hours to resolve a crisis over calls for the resignation of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi.
Anti-Mursi protesters ride on a fire truck to a main street where people are protesting for a second day in Alexandria, July 1, 2013. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih
Mursi's choices following the army's ultimatum are limited, as a military intervention would be "an epic defeat":
It would deny [Mursi and his Islamist allies in the Muslim Brotherhood] the chance to govern Egypt that the Brotherhood had struggled 80 years to finally win, in democratic elections, only to see their prize snatched away after less than a year.- David D. Kirkpatrick, Kareem Fahim and Ben Hubbard for the New York Times.
Protesters take part in a protest demanding that Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi resign at Tahrir Square in Cairo, July 1, 2013. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany
Reuters translation of full army statement setting 48-hour ultimatum:
Egypt and the whole world witnessed protests yesterday by the great Egyptian people, expressing their view and their will in a peaceful, civil and unprecedented manner. Everyone saw the movement of the Egyptian people and heard their voice with respect and interest. It is inevitable that the people get a response to their action and their demands from all parties that bear some measure of responsibility in these dangerous circumstances surrounding the nation.
The Egyptian Armed Forces, as a main part of the future equation, and from its national and historic responsibility to protect the security and welfare of this nation, confirms the following:
- The Armed Forces will not be part of the political circle or rule, and does not accept surpassing the designated role drawn for it in real democratic thought stemming from the will of the people.
- National security of the nation is facing real danger with the recent developments in the country, which throws responsibilities on all of us, each according to their positions and what needs to be done in order to fend off these risks.
- The Armed Forces felt early on the danger of the current situation as well as the demands of the great Egyptian people. That is why it had set a one-week ultimatum for all political forces to reach consensus and come out of the crisis but the week has passed without any initiative or act. This is what led the people to persistently and autonomously take to the streets in an impressive way, which has raised admiration and attention domestically, regionally and internationally.
- Wasting more time will only lead to more divisions and strife, of which we have been warning and continue to warn.
- The people have suffered and have not found anyone to give them care and kindness, and this presents a moral and psychological burden for the Armed Forces, which finds it necessary for all to stop anything other than embracing the proud people, who have proven their readiness to do the impossible if they feel loyalty and dedication toward them.
- The Armed Forces repeats its call to respond to the people's demands and gives everyone a 48-hour deadline to carry the burden of these historic circumstances that the nation is going through. [The nation] will not forgive or tolerate any shortcomings in bearing their responsibilities.
- The Armed Forces warns everyone that if the demands of the people are not met during the set time period, it will be obligated, due to its national and historical duties, out of respect for the demands of the great Egyptian people, to announce a road map and measures for the future that it would oversee in collaboration with all the loyal national factions and currents, including the youth who were and remain the spark of the glorious revolution, and without sidelining anyone.
- A salute of appreciation and fondness to the faithful and loyal men of the Armed Forces who bore and continue to bear their national responsibility toward the great Egyptian people with all determination, persistence and pride.
God protect Egypt and its great, proud people.
Read the original version in Arabic on Facebook.
UPDATED: Egypt forces arrest Brotherhood leader's guards: sources
Egyptian security forces arrested 15 armed bodyguards of the number two in the ruling Muslim Brotherhood, Khairat El-Shater, on Monday after an exchange of fire in which no one was injured, security sources said.
The Brotherhood's political party, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), denied the report, and quoted Shater as saying his private driver had been kidnapped after shooting in the area.
An anti-Mursi protester kisses a policeman on his motorcycle on a street where protesters stopped traffic while chanting slogans in Alexandria, July 1, 2013. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih
Attacks on Islamist organizations expand as moderate Islamist party firebombed:
CAIRO, July 1 (Reuters) - The headquarters of the moderate Egyptian Islamist party Wasat was set on fire on Monday, in an expansion of attacks on Islamist organizations across the country.
Unidentified assailants threw petrol bombs at the building.
Earlier on Monday, the headquarters of the ruling Muslim Brotherhood was overrun by youths who ransacked the building after those inside were evacuated following a night of violence that killed eight people.
The Wasat Party was founded in the 1990s by former members of the ruling Muslim Brotherhood but was not officially permitted until after the 2011 uprising that overthrew Hosni Mubarak.
The party has allied itself with the Brotherhood since President Mohamed Mursi took office a year ago. It proposed a draft law for judicial reform in the Islamist-dominated upper house of parliament, sparking a revolt among thousands of judges earlier this year.
(Reporting By Maggie Fick; Editing by Alastair Macdonald)
WASHINGTON A U.S. navy warship carried out a freedom-of-navigation operation on Friday near islands claimed by China and two other Asian countries in the South China Sea, U.S. officials told Reuters.