Al Sisi: We won't Kneel in the Face of Violence

Cairo's Interim Foreign Minister accuses international community of silence regarding “criminal acts” by pro-Morsi protesters.

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Gil Ronen,

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As Egypt's Cabinet sat in an emergency session Sunday and mulled the option of outlawing the Muslim Brotherhood, the commander of the armed forces, Gen Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, said the government would not "kneel” in the face of violence.

The country's Interim Foreign Minister, Nabil Fahmy, said meanwhile that while Egypt is grateful for aid and assistance from abroad, any threat to cut this aid is “unacceptable.”

Fahmy announced the establishment of an independent committee to investigate events since the mass June 30 demonstrations that led to the military's ousting of Mohamed Morsi from the presidency. He spoke at an international press conference on Sunday morning.

According to Egypt's Daily News, Fahmy was critical of the way foreign media was reporting events in Egypt and urged journalists to “work without interference from governments.” He accused the international community of being silent regarding what he described as “criminal acts” committed by pro-Morsi protesters.

Egypt’s decisions are a “sovereign matter,” he said, and Egyptians “are endeavouring to find their “political identity.” Fahmy pointed out that some other countries that have gone through a revolution, had lengthy transition periods before stability was achieved, and explained that anybody who believes Egypt could avoid such a period is being “unrealistic.”

Fahmy said Egypt “is open to feedback from the international community” but any attempt to impose a solution from outside would only serve to deepen the current polarization in Egyptian society, according to the Daily News.

While he expressed appreciation and gratitude for the foreign aid and assistance granted to Egypt, the minister stressed that any threat to cut this aid because of the current situation is “unacceptable,” because the authorities are dealing with the crisis in accordance with international standards. He asserted that the security forces “showed self-control and self restraint” without which “the losses and damages would have been much higher.”

The commander of the armed forces, Gen Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, warned that his troops will not stand by silently in the face of violence. "Whoever imagines violence will make the state and Egyptians kneel must reconsider; we will never be silent in the face of the destruction of the country," he said in a statement posted on Facebook.

He also said, however, that his message to Morsi supporters was that there was "room for everyone in Egypt" and the military had no intention to seize power.

Two pro-Morsi demonstrations in Cairo on Sunday afternoon were earlier canceled. Sources in the Muslim Brotherhood told the BBC that the decision was made because of the "presence of snipers on buildings along the routes of the marches". The claim could not be verified.