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Leader of third field army will not allow military to be drawn into violence

February 8, 2014 at 2:48 am

In response to General Abdul-Fattah Al-Sisi’s call for authorisation to wipe out “terrorism,” the leader of the third field army, Brigadier Usama Askar, said that his brigade would not allow the army to be implicated in violence.

He said he had issued orders to prevent division and clashes between the different powers as the main aim of the army is to keep general peace in the country and safeguard the souls of residents and their properties, as well as protecting vital institutions of the country.

In a speech delivered on Wednesday, Al-Sisi called for his supporters to take to the streets on Friday to authorise him to fight “terror.”

He renewed the call for a comprehensive reconciliation with all parties and religions in the country in Suez, Sinai and the Red Sea governorates. He affirmed that the army does not aim to exclude any party for the dialogue and affirmed that the country is for all citizens.

For his part, Askar asserted that the country would not become stable as long as there is violence and terrorism. He noted that the second call for a mass iftar for all political, liberal and religious parties is a starting point for reconciliation and a confirmation of mutual respect.

Meanwhile, many Egyptian analysts read an explicit threat into General Abdul-Fattah Al-Sisi’s appeal to his supporters to take to the streets on Friday.

Deputy leader of the Freedom and Justice Party, Essam al-Arian, called for the army to remain united but to stand on the side of constitutional legitimacy.