The Associated Press
CAIRO (AP) -- "The armed forces couldn't plug its ears or close its eyes as the movement and demands of the masses calling for them to play a national role, not a political role as the armed forces themselves will be the first to proclaim that they will stay away from politics.
The armed forces sensed -- given their sharp vision -- that the people sought their support, not power or rule but for general services and necessary protection of the demands of the revolution. This is the message that the armed forces received from all over urban Egypt, its cities, and its villages; it (the military) recognized the invitation, understood its intentions, appreciated its necessity and got closer to the national scene hoping, willing and abiding by all limits of duty, responsibility and honesty.
The armed forces have exerted lots of efforts over the past few months, directly and indirectly, to contain the internal situation and carry out a national reconciliation among all political forces including presidency starting on November 2012. It started with a call for national dialogue that all political forces responded to and was rejected by the presidency at the last moment. Then invitations and initiatives followed and continued since this time until this date.
The armed forces presented more than once their strategic assessment of the situation internally and outside the country, including the challenges and the dangers that are facing the nation on the security, economic, political and social levels along with the vision of the armed forces as a national institution on how to contain the causes of the social divisions and remove the causes of congestion and confront the challenges and the dangers to get out of the current crisis.
As part of the follow up to the current crisis, the general command of the armed forces held a meeting with the president of the republic at the Qasr al-Qobba presidential palace on June 22, 2013, during which it presented the opinion of the general command and its rejection of harming the national and religious state institution. And it assured its rejection of terrorizing and threatening the masses of the Egyptian people.
There was hope of achieving national reconciliation, developing a future plan and providing causes of confidence, assurances and stability to the people in order to achieve their ambitions and hopes. But the president's speech last night and before the end of the 48-hour ultimatum didn't meet or agree with the demands of the people. The situation prompted the armed forces, given their national and historic responsibility, to consult with some of the symbols of the national, political and youth forces without excluding or alienating anyone. The participants agreed on the future plan, which includes the initial steps to achieve a strong, coherent Egyptian society that doesn't alienate of its sons and movements and end the state of struggle and divisions.
This map includes:
-- Suspending the constitution temporarily.
-- The head of the Supreme Constitutional Court takes the oath of office in front of the general assembly of the court.
-- Carry out early presidential elections while the head of the Supreme Constitutional Court will be in charge of managing the state affairs during a transitional period until the election of a new president.
-- The head of the Supreme Constitutional Court will have the power to issue constitutional declarations during the transitional period until the election of a new president.
-- Forming a Cabinet of national, strong, capable experts who enjoy all powers during the current period.
-- Forming a committee from across the spectrum and experts to review the proposed amendments of the constitution that has been temporarily suspended.
-- Urging the Supreme Constitutional Court to expedite an elections law for parliament and to start to take measures to prepare for the parliamentary elections.
-- Putting together a media code of ethics that ensures media freedom and achieves professional standards, credibility and objectivity and to prioritize the nation's high interests.
-- Taking executive measures to empower and engage the youth in the state institutions, to be a decision-making partner as aides to ministers, governors and in different executive posts.
-- Forming a supreme committee for national reconciliation of personalities who enjoy credibility and acceptance by all national elites and represent different movements.
-- The armed forces urge the great Egyptian people from across the spectrum to abide by peaceful demonstrations, avoid violence, which leads to more congestion and spills the blood of the innocent. It warns that it will confront, with cooperation of the men of the Interior Ministry, with all force and decisiveness any violation of peacefulness according to the law and driven by the national and historic responsibility.
-- The armed forces salute and express gratitude to the men of the armed forces, the police, the judiciary, the honorable and the sincere for their great national role and their continued sacrifices to preserve the safety and security of Egypt and its great people.
God preserve Egypt and its great defiant people.
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