CAIRO, June 23 General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the
head of the Egyptian armed forces, issued a statement on his
Facebook page on Sunday warning of military intervention if
politicians fail to narrow their differences and curb violence.
The opposition has called mass rallies against Islamist
President Mohamed Mursi for June 30.
Here are excerpts, translated from Arabic by Reuters:
"The armed forces are fully aware of what is happening in
domestic affairs, while not taking part or interfering because
the armed forces function in a neutral way and with complete
"There is a state of division in society. Prolonging it
poses a danger to the Egyptian state. There must be consensus
among all. Those who think that this current situation benefits
society are wrong. It harms it and threatens Egyptian national
"It is unworthy to remain silent while our Egyptian people
are intimidated and terrorised. Death would be more honourable
for us than that any one of the people of Egypt should be harmed
while their army is present.
"Repeated insults against the army and its leaders and its
symbols are an insult to Egyptian nationalism and to the
Egyptian people as a whole ... The army will not stay silent
against any insult directed at it from now on.
"The armed forces have avoided, in the period that has
passed, interfering in the political arena. But its national and
moral obligations towards its people make it necessary for it to
intervene in order to prevent Egypt slipping into a dark tunnel
of conflict, domestic killing and criminality, treason,
sectarian strife or the collapse of state institutions.
"Those who think that we are divorced from the dangers that
threaten the Egyptian state are wrong. We will not remain silent
as the country slips into a conflict that is hard to control.
"The armed forces call on everyone ... to find a formula for
understanding and consensus and genuine reconciliation to
protect Egypt and its people. We have one week in which a lot
can be achieved.
"The will of the Egyptian nation is what governs us and we
protect it with honour. We are completely responsible for
"We cannot permit a violation of the will of the people."
(Reporting by Asma Alsharif; Editing by Alastair Macdonald and