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By Yasmine Saleh and Maggie Fick

CAIRO | Mon Jul 1, 2013 7:38pm EDT

(Reuters) – Egypt’s armed forces handed Islamist President Mohamed Mursi a virtual ultimatum to share power on Monday, giving feuding politicians 48 hours to compromise or have the army impose its own road map for the country.

A dramatic military statement broadcast on state television declared the nation was in danger after millions of Egyptians took to the streets on Sunday to demand that Mursi quit and the headquarters of the ruling Muslim Brotherhood were ransacked.

The generals’ intervention was greeted with delight among protesters in the streets – and muted dismay by Islamists.

Since the fall of Hosni Mubarak as the Arab Spring revolutions took hold more than two years ago, the Arab world’s most populous nation has remained in turmoil, arousing concern among allies in the West and in neighboring Israel, with which Egypt has had a peace treaty since 1979.

Mursi’s allies were angry: “The age of military coups is over,” said the Brotherhood’s Yasser Hamza. Mohamed El-Beltagy said Islamists would take to the streets to show their strength. Mursi himself did not respond all day.

Crowds in Cairo’s Tahrir Square cheered when a flight of military helicopters swooped overhead trailing national flags. Silhouetted against the sunset, it was a powerful illustration of the military’s desire to be seen in tune with the people.

“If the demands of the people are not realized within the defined period, it will be incumbent upon (the armed forces) … to announce a road map for the future,” the chief of staff, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, said in the statement. It was followed by martial music.

 

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/07/01/us-egypt-protests-idUSBRE95Q0NO20130701

 

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Posted July 2, 2013 by tmusicfan in Politics, Quote of the Day

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