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The powerful Egyptian armed forces have said that national security is at risk and have given President Mohamed Morsi a virtual ultimatum to resolve the crisis or else they will introduce a roadmap for the country’s future.
In a statement broadcast on state television, the military declared the nation was in great danger after millions of Egyptians took to the streets Sunday to demand Morsi step down.
“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,” said the statement by Ge
General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff, has spoken with General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Reuters reports, citing US defense officials. No details of the conversation were provided.
General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the head of the Egyptian military, delivered a statement in which he said that "political forces" have 48 hours to meet the "people's demands" or else the army would impose a road map for the national politics. An hour later, five military helicopters trailing giant national flags flew in broad circles over the city.Is it a coup?
• In celebration of the announcement, millions of Egyptians entered the streets, where thousands remained from Sunday's major protests against president Mohamed Morsi on the anniversary of his inauguration. The understanding of the rallying crowds appeared to be that the army statement signaled that Morsi is on his way out. A Morsi aide told the Guardian that Sisi's ultimatum was "a military coup."
• The army denied that it was mounting a coup, insisting that it was instead seeking to stop Egypt from entering a "dark tunnel of conflict." The opposition National Salvation Front also said that the army ultimatum was not a coup. The NSF endorsed the army's explanation of its action as a defense of the will of the people. Finally, late in the day the Muslim Brotherhood said the army action was not a coup but a security measure.