Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 4 August 2015

Egypt unrest: Thousands gather in Cairo over Morsi deadline

Published 02/07/2013 | 19:50

Opponents of Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi protest as they shout slogans and wave national flags in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Opponents of Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi protest as they shout slogans and wave national flags in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, July 2, 2013
CAIRO, EGYPT - JULY 2: Egyptian opposition protesters demonstrate at the Egyptian Presidential Palace in the suburb of Heliopolis on July 2, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt. In a statement on July 1, the Egyptian Army asked Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi to resolve mass demonstrations against his continued rule or face intervention by the military within 48 hours. Crowds of pro- and anti-government protesters gathered in locations across Egypt on June 30, the day of a series of nation-wide mass demonstrations entitled 'Tamarod', or 'Rebel'. The 'Tamarod' campaign, organised by a coalition of opposition political groups and planned to take place on the first anniversary of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi's election to the country's Presidency, aims to bring down the government of President Morsi through country-wide demonstrations. (Photo by Ed Giles/Getty Images)
CAIRO, EGYPT - JULY 2: Supporters of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi demonstrate at the Rabaa al Adawiya Mosque in the suburb of Nasr City on July 2, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt. In a statement on July 1, the Egyptian Army asked Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi to resolve mass demonstrations against his continued rule or face intervention by the military within 48 hours. Crowds of pro- and anti-government protesters gathered in locations across Egypt on June 30, the day of a series of nation-wide mass demonstrations entitled 'Tamarod', or 'Rebel'. The 'Tamarod' campaign, organised by a coalition of opposition political groups and planned to take place on the first anniversary of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi's election to the country's Presidency, aims to bring down the government of President Morsi through country-wide demonstrations. (Photo by Ed Giles/Getty Images)
CAIRO, EGYPT - JULY 2: Egyptian opposition protesters demonstrate at the Egyptian Presidential Palace in the suburb of Heliopolis on July 2, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt. In a statement on July 1, the Egyptian Army asked Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi to resolve mass demonstrations against his continued rule or face intervention by the military within 48 hours. Crowds of pro- and anti-government protesters gathered in locations across Egypt on June 30, the day of a series of nation-wide mass demonstrations entitled 'Tamarod', or 'Rebel'. The 'Tamarod' campaign, organised by a coalition of opposition political groups and planned to take place on the first anniversary of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi's election to the country's Presidency, aims to bring down the government of President Morsi through country-wide demonstrations. (Photo by Ed Giles/Getty Images)
CAIRO, EGYPT - JULY 2: Egyptian opposition protesters demonstrate at the Egyptian Presidential Palace in the suburb of Heliopolis on July 2, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt. In a statement on July 1, the Egyptian Army asked Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi to resolve mass demonstrations against his continued rule or face intervention by the military within 48 hours. Crowds of pro- and anti-government protesters gathered in locations across Egypt on June 30, the day of a series of nation-wide mass demonstrations entitled 'Tamarod', or 'Rebel'. The 'Tamarod' campaign, organised by a coalition of opposition political groups and planned to take place on the first anniversary of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi's election to the country's Presidency, aims to bring down the government of President Morsi through country-wide demonstrations. (Photo by Ed Giles/Getty Images)
CAIRO, EGYPT - JULY 2: A poster of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi adorns a van during a demonstration at the Rabaa al Adawiya Mosque in the suburb of Nasr City on July 2, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt. In a statement on July 1, the Egyptian Army asked Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi to resolve mass demonstrations against his continued rule or face intervention by the military within 48 hours. Crowds of pro- and anti-government protesters gathered in locations across Egypt on June 30, the day of a series of nation-wide mass demonstrations entitled 'Tamarod', or 'Rebel'. The 'Tamarod' campaign, organised by a coalition of opposition political groups and planned to take place on the first anniversary of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi's election to the country's Presidency, aims to bring down the government of President Morsi through country-wide demonstrations. (Photo by Ed Giles/Getty Images)
CAIRO, EGYPT - JULY 2: Supporters of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi pray during a demonstration at the Rabaa al Adawiya Mosque in the suburb of Nasr City on July 2, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt. In a statement on July 1, the Egyptian Army asked Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi to resolve mass demonstrations against his continued rule or face intervention by the military within 48 hours. Crowds of pro- and anti-government protesters gathered in locations across Egypt on June 30, the day of a series of nation-wide mass demonstrations entitled 'Tamarod', or 'Rebel'. The 'Tamarod' campaign, organised by a coalition of opposition political groups and planned to take place on the first anniversary of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi's election to the country's Presidency, aims to bring down the government of President Morsi through country-wide demonstrations. (Photo by Ed Giles/Getty Images)
CAIRO, EGYPT - JULY 2: Egyptian opposition protesters demonstrate at the Egyptian Presidential Palace in the suburb of Heliopolis on July 2, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt. In a statement on July 1, the Egyptian Army asked Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi to resolve mass demonstrations against his continued rule or face intervention by the military within 48 hours. Crowds of pro- and anti-government protesters gathered in locations across Egypt on June 30, the day of a series of nation-wide mass demonstrations entitled 'Tamarod', or 'Rebel'. The 'Tamarod' campaign, organised by a coalition of opposition political groups and planned to take place on the first anniversary of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi's election to the country's Presidency, aims to bring down the government of President Morsi through country-wide demonstrations. (Photo by Ed Giles/Getty Images)
CAIRO, EGYPT - JULY 2: Egyptian opposition protesters demonstrate at the Egyptian Presidential Palace in the suburb of Heliopolis on July 2, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt. In a statement on July 1, the Egyptian Army asked Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi to resolve mass demonstrations against his continued rule or face intervention by the military within 48 hours. Crowds of pro- and anti-government protesters gathered in locations across Egypt on June 30, the day of a series of nation-wide mass demonstrations entitled 'Tamarod', or 'Rebel'. The 'Tamarod' campaign, organised by a coalition of opposition political groups and planned to take place on the first anniversary of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi's election to the country's Presidency, aims to bring down the government of President Morsi through country-wide demonstrations. (Photo by Ed Giles/Getty Images)
CAIRO, EGYPT - JULY 2: Supporters of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi demonstrate at the Rabaa al Adawiya Mosque in the suburb of Nasr City on July 2, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt. In a statement on July 1, the Egyptian Army asked Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi to resolve mass demonstrations against his continued rule or face intervention by the military within 48 hours. Crowds of pro- and anti-government protesters gathered in locations across Egypt on June 30, the day of a series of nation-wide mass demonstrations entitled 'Tamarod', or 'Rebel'. The 'Tamarod' campaign, organised by a coalition of opposition political groups and planned to take place on the first anniversary of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi's election to the country's Presidency, aims to bring down the government of President Morsi through country-wide demonstrations. (Photo by Ed Giles/Getty Images)
CAIRO, EGYPT - JULY 2: Supporters of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi demonstrate at the Rabaa al Adawiya Mosque in the suburb of Nasr City on July 2, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt. In a statement on July 1, the Egyptian Army asked Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi to resolve mass demonstrations against his continued rule or face intervention by the military within 48 hours. Crowds of pro- and anti-government protesters gathered in locations across Egypt on June 30, the day of a series of nation-wide mass demonstrations entitled 'Tamarod', or 'Rebel'. The 'Tamarod' campaign, organised by a coalition of opposition political groups and planned to take place on the first anniversary of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi's election to the country's Presidency, aims to bring down the government of President Morsi through country-wide demonstrations. (Photo by Ed Giles/Getty Images)
CAIRO, EGYPT - JULY 2: A supporter of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi wears a pendant showing Morsi during a demonstration at the Rabaa al Adawiya Mosque in the suburb of Nasr City on July 2, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt. In a statement on July 1, the Egyptian Army asked Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi to resolve mass demonstrations against his continued rule or face intervention by the military within 48 hours. Crowds of pro- and anti-government protesters gathered in locations across Egypt on June 30, the day of a series of nation-wide mass demonstrations entitled 'Tamarod', or 'Rebel'. The 'Tamarod' campaign, organised by a coalition of opposition political groups and planned to take place on the first anniversary of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi's election to the country's Presidency, aims to bring down the government of President Morsi through country-wide demonstrations. (Photo by Ed Giles/Getty Images)
CAIRO, EGYPT - JULY 2: Egyptian opposition protesters demonstrate at the Egyptian Presidential Palace in the suburb of Heliopolis on July 2, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt. In a statement on July 1, the Egyptian Army asked Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi to resolve mass demonstrations against his continued rule or face intervention by the military within 48 hours. Crowds of pro- and anti-government protesters gathered in locations across Egypt on June 30, the day of a series of nation-wide mass demonstrations entitled 'Tamarod', or 'Rebel'. The 'Tamarod' campaign, organised by a coalition of opposition political groups and planned to take place on the first anniversary of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi's election to the country's Presidency, aims to bring down the government of President Morsi through country-wide demonstrations. (Photo by Ed Giles/Getty Images)
CAIRO, EGYPT - JULY 2: Egyptian opposition protesters demonstrate at the Egyptian Presidential Palace in the suburb of Heliopolis on July 2, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt. In a statement on July 1, the Egyptian Army asked Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi to resolve mass demonstrations against his continued rule or face intervention by the military within 48 hours. Crowds of pro- and anti-government protesters gathered in locations across Egypt on June 30, the day of a series of nation-wide mass demonstrations entitled 'Tamarod', or 'Rebel'. The 'Tamarod' campaign, organised by a coalition of opposition political groups and planned to take place on the first anniversary of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi's election to the country's Presidency, aims to bring down the government of President Morsi through country-wide demonstrations. (Photo by Ed Giles/Getty Images)
CAIRO, EGYPT - JULY 2: Supporters of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi demonstrate at the Rabaa al Adawiya Mosque in the suburb of Nasr City on July 2, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt. In a statement on July 1, the Egyptian Army asked Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi to resolve mass demonstrations against his continued rule or face intervention by the military within 48 hours. Crowds of pro- and anti-government protesters gathered in locations across Egypt on June 30, the day of a series of nation-wide mass demonstrations entitled 'Tamarod', or 'Rebel'. The 'Tamarod' campaign, organised by a coalition of opposition political groups and planned to take place on the first anniversary of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi's election to the country's Presidency, aims to bring down the government of President Morsi through country-wide demonstrations. (Photo by Ed Giles/Getty Images)
CAIRO, EGYPT - JULY 2: Egyptian opposition protesters demonstrate at the Egyptian Presidential Palace in the suburb of Heliopolis on July 2, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt. In a statement on July 1, the Egyptian Army asked Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi to resolve mass demonstrations against his continued rule or face intervention by the military within 48 hours. Crowds of pro- and anti-government protesters gathered in locations across Egypt on June 30, the day of a series of nation-wide mass demonstrations entitled 'Tamarod', or 'Rebel'. The 'Tamarod' campaign, organised by a coalition of opposition political groups and planned to take place on the first anniversary of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi's election to the country's Presidency, aims to bring down the government of President Morsi through country-wide demonstrations. (Photo by Ed Giles/Getty Images)
Thousands of Egyptian opponents of Egyptian Islamist President Mohammed Morsi protest as they shout slogans and wave national flags in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, July 2, 2013. With a military deadline for intervention ticking down, hundreds of thousands of protesters seeking the ouster of Egypt's Islamist president sought Tuesday to push the embattled leader further toward the edge with another massive show of resolve and unity. Arabic read, "Leave, we are back to the square." (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
Supporters of Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi train with sticks outside of the Rabia el-Adawiya mosque near the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, July 2, 2013. Egypt was on edge Tuesday following a 'last-chance' ultimatum the military issued to Mohammed Morsi, giving the president and the opposition 48 hours to resolve the crisis in the country or have the army step in with its own plan. Protesters seeking the ouster of the Islamist president remained camped out at Cairo's Tahrir Square, the birthplace of the 2011 uprising, gearing up for a third day of anti-Morsi rallies. Across town, Morsi's Islamist backers have hunkered down at their own rally site, vowing to resist what they depict as a threat of a coup against a legitimately elected president. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
Supporters of Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi hold sticks and wear protective gear during training outside of the Rabia el-Adawiya mosque near the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, July 2, 2013. Egypt was on edge Tuesday following a 'last-chance' ultimatum the military issued to Mohammed Morsi, giving the president and the opposition 48 hours to resolve the crisis in the country or have the army step in with its own plan. Protesters seeking the ouster of the Islamist president remained camped out at Cairo's Tahrir Square, the birthplace of the 2011 uprising, gearing up for a third day of anti-Morsi rallies. Across town, Morsi's Islamist backers have hunkered down at their own rally site, vowing to resist what they depict as a threat of a coup against a legitimately elected president. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
Opponents of Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi camp out as they protest outside the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, July 2, 2013. Egypt was on edge Tuesday following a "last-chance" ultimatum the military issued to Mohammed Morsi, giving the president and the opposition 48 hours to resolve the crisis in the country or have the army step in with its own plan. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
Supporters of Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi march in formation with sticks and protective gear outside of the Rabia el-Adawiya mosque near the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, July 2, 2013. Egypt was on edge Tuesday following a "last-chance" ultimatum the military issued to Mohammed Morsi, giving the president and the opposition 48 hours to resolve the crisis in the country or have the army step in with its own plan. Protesters seeking the ouster of the Islamist president remained camped out at Cairo's Tahrir Square, the birthplace of the 2011 uprising, gearing up for a third day of anti-Morsi rallies. Across town, Morsi's Islamist backers have hunkered down at their own rally site, vowing to resist what they depict as a threat of a coup against a legitimately elected president. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
Supporters of Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi wave national flags and his posters during a rally in Nasser City, in Cairo, Egypt, Monday, July 1, 2013. Egypt's powerful military warned on Monday it will intervene if the Islamist president doesn't 'meet the people's demands,' giving him and his opponents two days to reach an agreement in what it called a last chance. Hundreds of thousands of protesters massed for a second day calling on Mohammed Morsi to step down. Arabic reads " Mohammed Morsi for Egyptian presidency. " (AP Photo/ Amr Nabil)
In this photo released by the Egyptian Presidency Monday, July 1, 2013, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, right, meets with Prime Minister Hesham Kandil, center, and Egyptian Minister of Defense, Lt. Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, left in Cairo, Egypt. Egypt's powerful military warned on Monday it will intervene if the Islamist president doesn't "meet the people's demands," giving him and his opponents two days to reach an agreement in what it called a last chance. Hundreds of thousands of protesters massed for a second day calling on Mohammed Morsi to step down.(AP Photo/Egyptian Presidency)
An opponent of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi waves an Egyptian national flag during a protest outside the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Monday, July 1, 2013. Egypt's military on Monday issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the Islamist president and his opponents to reach an agreement to "meet the people's demands" or it will intervene to put forward a political road map for the country and ensure it is carried out. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
Opponents of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi waves Egyptian national flags during a protest outside the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Monday, July 1, 2013, after Egypt's military issued an ultimatum. Egypt's military on Monday issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the Islamist president and his opponents to reach an agreement to "meet the people's demands" or it will intervene to put forward a political road map for the country and ensure it is carried out. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
Egyptian protesters gather in Tahrir Square for the second day against Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in Cairo, Monday, July 1, 2013. Egypt's powerful military warned on Monday it will intervene if the Islamist president doesn't "meet the people's demands," giving him and his opponents two days to reach an agreement in what it called a last chance. Hundreds of thousands of protesters massed for a second day calling on Mohammed Morsi to step down. (AP Photo/ Manu Brabo)
Opponents of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi react after Egypt's military issued an ultimatum, outside the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Monday, July 1, 2013. Egypt's military on Monday issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the Islamist president and his opponents to reach an agreement to "meet the people's demands" or it will intervene to put forward a political road map for the country and ensure it is carried out. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
An Egyptian woman chants slogans, as protesters ransack the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in the Muqattam district in Cairo, Monday, July 1, 2013. Protesters stormed and ransacked the headquarters of President Mohammed Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood group early Monday, in an attack that could spark more violence as demonstrators gear up for a second day of mass rallies aimed at forcing the Islamist leader from power. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
An Egyptian protester leaps over burned debris at the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in the Muqattam district in Cairo, Monday, July 1, 2013. Protesters stormed and ransacked the headquarters of President Mohammed Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood group early Monday, in an attack that could spark more violence as demonstrators gear up for a second day of mass rallies aimed at forcing the Islamist leader from power. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
Egyptian protesters attack the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in the Muqattam district in Cairo, Monday, July 1, 2013. Protesters stormed and ransacked the headquarters of President Mohammed Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood group early Monday, in an attack that could spark more violence as demonstrators gear up for a second day of mass rallies aimed at forcing the Islamist leader from power. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
A protester holds an Egyptian national flag as he and others attack the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in the Muqattam district in Cairo, Monday, July 1, 2013. Protesters stormed and ransacked the headquarters of President Mohammed Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood group early Monday, in an attack that could spark more violence as demonstrators gear up for a second day of mass rallies aimed at forcing the Islamist leader from power. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
A protester waves an Egyptian national flag as others ransack the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in the Muqatam district in Cairo, Monday, July 1, 2013. Protesters stormed and ransacked the headquarters of President Mohammed Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood group early Monday, in an attack that could spark more violence as demonstrators gear up for a second day of mass rallies aimed at forcing the Islamist leader from power. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
Egyptian protesters ransack the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in the Muqatam district in Cairo, Monday, July 1, 2013. Protesters stormed and ransacked the headquarters of President Mohammed Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood group early Monday, in an attack that could spark more violence as demonstrators gear up for a second day of mass rallies aimed at forcing the Islamist leader from power. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
Egyptian protesters ransack the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in the Muqatam district in Cairo, Monday, July 1, 2013. Protesters stormed and ransacked the headquarters of President Mohammed Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood group early Monday, in an attack that could spark more violence as demonstrators gear up for a second day of mass rallies aimed at forcing the Islamist leader from power. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

The Egyptian military has drawn up a plan to suspend the Islamist-backed constitution, dissolve the Islamist-dominated parliament, and set up an interim administration if President Mohammed Morsi fails to reach a solution with his opponents, the state news agency says.

The report provides the first details of the road map the military has said it will implement if a deadline it set for tomorrow runs out with no solution.

A retired army general with close ties to the military confirmed the report.

Hossam Sweilam said a panel of experts would draft a new constitution and the interim administration would be a presidential council led by the Supreme Constitutional Court's chief justice and including the defence minister, representatives of political parties, youth groups, Al-Azhar Mosque and the Coptic Church.

Fearing a political-military implosion that could throw its most important Arab ally into chaos, the US has abandoned its hands-off approach, delivering pointed warnings to the three main players in the crisis.

US officials said today they are urging Mr Morsi to take immediate steps to address opposition grievances, telling the protesters to remain peaceful and reminding the army that a coup could have consequences for the massive American military aid package it currently receives.

The officials said Washington has stopped short of demanding that Mr Morsi take specific steps, but has instead offered strong suggestions, backed by billions of dollars in US aid, about what he should do to ease the tensions. Those include calling early elections, firing an unpopular prosecutor and expressing a willingness to explore constitutional change.

The army has been told that the 1.3 billion dollars in foreign military financing it receives each year from Washington could be jeopardised by a coup or the appearance of a coup.

President Barack Obama personally delivered the message to Mr Morsi in a phone call late from Tanzania where he was wrapping up a trip to Africa, the officials said.

Around the same time, Gen Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called his Egyptian counterpart to point out that US law requires cuts in military assistance in most cases when a country's armed forces are involved in an unconstitutional change in government. Meanwhile, diplomats at the US Embassy in Cairo have been speaking to the opposition, the officials said.

In their conversation, Mr Obama "encouraged President Morsi to take steps to show that he is responsive to (opposition) concerns, and underscored that the current crisis can only be resolved through a political process," the White House said in a statement released before the president left Tanzania.

As Mr Obama flew back to Washington, some of his top national security advisers were meeting at the White House to plot a way forward. The conclusions of the so-called "deputies committee" meeting were not immediately clear.

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