New Age Islam
Sun Jul 14 2024, 08:11 PM

Current Affairs ( 6 Oct 2013, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Comment | Comment

50 Dead In Clashes between Islamists and Police in Egypt

By New Age Islam News Desk

Oct 7, 2013 

Related Articles: 

The Cairo Elite and the Tyranny of the State

6 October War: Bygone Days of Glory

Egypt Releases First-Ever October War Documents

Egypt's Army Chief Says Will Continue Protecting People’s Mandate

Ex-Presidential Hopeful Bothaina Kamel Attacked By 'Morsi Supporters'

Brotherhood's FJP Describes Sunday Violence as 'Massacre,' Calls For International Investigation

US More 'Understanding' Of Morsi Ouster: Egypt Interim President

423 Arrested In Cairo Clashes on Armed Forces Day: Interior Ministry


50 Dead In Clashes between Islamists and Police in Egypt

CAIRO: At least 50 people were killed in clashes between Islamists and police in Egypt, as thousands of the military's supporters marked the anniversary of the 1973 Arab-Israeli war.

Loyalists of deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, overthrown in a July military coup, yesterday tried to converge on a central Cairo square for the anniversary celebrations, when police confronted them.

At least 45 people were killed in Cairo and five south of the capital, while another 268 people were wounded across Egypt, senior health ministry official Ahmed al-Ansari told AFP.

He said that "majority of the deaths were caused by bullets and birdshots," adding that the identities of the dead were being ascertained.

Yesterday's death toll was the highest in clashes between Islamists and police since several days of violence starting on August 14 killed more than 1,000 people, mostly Islamists.

In central Cairo, police fired shots and tear gas to disperse stone-throwing protesters. AFP correspondents saw several suspected demonstrators being arrested and beaten.

An interior ministry statement said police arrested 423 protesters in Cairo, accusing them of vandalism and "firing live rounds and birdshot".

Three months after Morsi's overthrow, followed by a harsh crackdown on his Muslim Brotherhood movement, the Islamists had planned to galvanise their protest movement in a symbolic attempt to reach Tahrir Square.

After several weeks of relative calm, the Islamists had said they would escalate their protests by trying to rally in the symbolic Tahrir Square.

Hundreds of thousands of people had filled the square in February 2011 to force President Hosni Mubarak to resign, and again in July 2013 to urge the army to depose his successor Morsi.

But on Sunday, security forces guarded entrances to the square, frisking people arriving for the anniversary celebrations.

Several thousand people, some carrying pictures of army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, waved Egyptian flags as warplanes flew overhead in formation and patriotic songs blared from loudspeakers.

Sisi, flanked by interim president Adly Mansour and Jordanian Prime Minister Abdullah Nsur, attended a fireworks display in a military stadium, followed by a long song-and-dance show.

Earlier in Cairo, the air was thick with tear gas and the crackle of gunfire as police confronted several marches heading for Tahrir.

Prime Minister Hazem Beblawi urged Egyptians to unite, saying the country is on the road to recovery.

The Islamist Anti-Coup Alliance called for more protests this week and specifically urged students across Egyptian universities and schools to protest on Tuesday "against these continuing massacres".

Away from the main squares, Cairo's streets were largely deserted on Sunday, a public holiday to commemorate the October War, known as the Yom Kippur War in Israel.

The conflict, remembered proudly by the Egyptian army because it caught Israel by surprise, led to the recovery of the Sinai Peninsula in a 1979 peace treaty.


The Cairo Elite and the Tyranny of the State

By Mohamed El-Menshawy

5 Oct 2013

Theorists of the past defend efforts to build a new tyranny in a modern form by misusing established fundamentals under the pretext of “guarding the state” and the need to respect “the prestige of the state.”

Some of these theorists of the past – that the Egyptian masses rose up against on 25 January 2011 – still justify continued deprivation from basic human rights such as bread, freedom and social justice at the hands of state agencies.

These theorists are essentially defending continued oppression of the Egyptian people by the Cairo elite. The elite in the capital control the top tier bureaucracy in Egypt and have thus effectively ruled Egypt by avidly supporting despotic regimes since Egypt became a republic in 1952.

The Cairo clique lives in a handful of neighbourhoods and owns most of the real estate from West Alexandria to the border with Libya, known as the North Coast. They also own real estate and resorts on the Red Sea, and control the Tunis region on the banks of Lake Qaroun in the impoverished governorate of Al-Fayyoum.

The Cairo elite, through their influence and corruption, are able to provide potable water, electricity and sewage disposal to their resorts which they visit frequently, while ignoring the fact that several million Egyptians suffer from a lack of potable water, electricity and sewage in their villages and hamlets.

The Cairo elite are not an intellectual clique by traditional standards, but a parasitic consumer elite who has no intention or ability to lead society forward.

The relationship between the Cairo elite and the West is both repulsive and pitiful. It is disgraceful that the Cairo clique is unlike the European and US elite. They look to the West in awe and revere its lifestyle, art and technology, but ignore the social values that paved the way for a strong and developed West, such as equality, freedom and de-centralisation.

This clique built alternative schools, hospitals and transportation to what the state provides for the rest of Egyptians. They compete to wear the latest in Italian fashion, but the most dangerous and deplorable consumerism is what they are doing about the education of their children. There is a heated race to admit their children to British, French and American schools, without realising the dangers of education at foreign schools for the future of these people, their identity and cultural values.

Although these elites adore the state, they do not send their children to its schools or go to its hospitals, and their offspring know nothing about the condition of public transportation because they simply never use it.

According to various classifications Egypt is considered a “backward state” since its universities, schools and hospitals are at the tail end of international rankings. Its rank has dropped so far that non-oil producing countries such as Jordan, Tunisia and Morocco have overtaken it in quality of education and public health.

The Global Competitiveness Report issued last month at the World Economic Forum placed Egypt last out of 148 countries on the quality of primary education. It ranked very high, 135 out of 148, on “wastefulness of government spending.”

Although the natural evolution of managing a modern state leans towards de-centralisation, whereby the role of government in the capital is limited to issues of sovereignty such as defence, foreign policy and managing the economy, the Cairo elite insists on directly dominating all the affairs of Egypt. The central state becomes its tool for hegemony and the capital controls the destiny of Egypt’s governorates.

Naturally, this clique rejects any bold suggestions to transfer the capital to a city in Upper Egypt. It also detests any ideas about de-centralisation that are inherently positive because they dilute the concentration of power, and distribute it administratively and geographically across the country away from the narrow circle of influence in Cairo.

The Cairo elite uphold policies that create and maintain poverty through education, health and labour policies. It is a ruling class that does not need mass support and endorsement because it reaches power through a corrupt web of relationships that is opaque and unaccountable.

They accept tyranny as a means to protect their gains and privileges, which is exactly why they are fighting for tyranny to remain, since it cannot exist as an “elite” except under despotic rule.

The elite in developed countries are the engines pulling a long train, leading it so their advancement and progress is directly linked to pulling and pushing the rest of society forward. But the position of the Cairo elite on the free elections that took place was not about guarding the identity of the state as they claim, or preventing a monopoly by one single political camp. Instead, it was to defend their professional and functional role and protect their gains and interests.

The Cairo elite served the former regime and were given senior executive, judicial and legislative positions in the government based on their degree of loyalty to the head of the regime. Egypt’s incurable malaise was not of real concern for them – they ignored the fact that 23 million Egyptians are illiterate, 12 million Egyptians suffer from hepatitis and 14 million from diabetes.

The January 25 Revolution did not rise up only to overthrow former president Hosni Mubarak. Its goal was to change the way of thinking and the behaviour of society in general. The more important change, however, is replacing the Cairo elite with an elite from outside the capital. There is no hope for a free and progressive Egypt as long as the parasitic Cairo elite continue to suffocate the potential of Egyptians elsewhere in the country.


6 October War: Bygone Days of Glory

By Hussein Haridy

 5 Oct 2013

On 6 October, Egypt and the Arab world will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the October War. Forty years ago, the Egyptian and the Syrian armies launched a surprise attack on Israeli positions on the southern and eastern fronts; namely, in Sinai and on the Golan Heights. At 1400 hours Saturday, 6 October, 200 bombers flew over the Suez Canal en route to destroy Israeli positions deep in Sinai while 4,000 pieces of the Egyptian field artillery blew away the fortifications that Israel had built along the eastern bank of the canal to prevent the Egyptian army from launching an all-out attack to regain Sinai from Israeli occupation that dated back to the Six-Day War of June 1967.

In order to deter Egypt from crossing the canal, the Israelis built the Bar Lev Line from north to south with a sand dam and fortifications and napalm tubes under the water to put the waterway of the canal on fire in case the Egyptian forces would attempt to cross.

A former Israeli chief of staff had bragged that even a nuclear bomb would not destroy this defence line. Another chief of staff in Israel said afterwards that the Israeli forces would break the bones of Egyptians if they would ever dare to cross the canal and penetrate the Bar Lev Line.

The whole idea of this defence line was to deter Egypt's High Command from contemplating breaching the canal and taking the fortifications on the eastern bank by force. The Israeli strategy after the June defeat centered on pressuring Egypt to accept a peace deal with Israel along Israeli conditions; that is, a withdrawal by Israel from Sinai but not to the June borders, a peace treaty and the right of Israeli vessels to use the Suez Canal. President Gamal Abdel Nasser refused such conditions and began rebuilding the army via a massive rearmament programme with the help of the former Soviet Union.

And to prepare the newly-organised army, he ordered what is known as the War of Attrition from 1969 to 1970, a war that cost Israel heavy losses in terms of men and equipment. Before his death on 28 September 1970, Egypt successfully installed an advanced air-defence system that proved very effective and deadly for Israelis F-4 fighter planes known as Phantoms.

The administration of President Lyndon Johnson had decided to provide Israel with its latest fighter planes to break Egyptian will and lead Egypt into submission. In fact, these fighter planes penetrated Egyptian air defence systems and destroyed schools and industrial plants.

When President Anwar El-Sadat came to power after the passing away of President Nasser, he tried to find a diplomatic opening that would set in motion a process whereby Egypt would regain control of Sinai in return for ending the state of war with Israel and ultimately the signing of a peace treaty between the two countries. For example, in February 1971, he proposed the reopening of the Suez Canal in return for a partial withdrawal of Israeli forces 10 kilometres to the east. Israel refused, and the Nixon administration was not eager to get involved for reasons that had to do with Soviet-American relations and American relations with China and the agreement with Beijing to begin a normalisation process.

Add to that, a wrong impression in Washington circles that Egypt would not fight. In June 1972, Henry Kissinger told Leonid Brezhnev, the former first secretary of the Communist Party in the former Soviet Union, that “It is hard to convince Israel why they should give up the territory in exchange for something they already have (a ceasefire) in order to avoid a war that they can win.” William Rogers, Kissinger's predecessor as secretary of state, had said to Mahmoud Riad, the Egyptian foreign minister at the time, "Do not forget that you have lost the war and therefore have to pay a price.”

In 1973, Kissinger had a talk with the Iranian ambassador in Washington DC in which he said that it “is senseless for a country that lost a war to demand [its territory back] as a precondition,” adding: “Why not let the Egyptians take the heat?”

The fact of the matter is that neither the United States nor Israel were interested in carrying out Security Council Resolution 242 that  has laid the basis for all international efforts aimed at a comprehensive peaceful settlement in the Middle East. And Kissinger wanted to ensure that Israel would enforce its demands on the Arab side. A former Israeli ambassador to Washington once described Kissinger in the following terms: “As a family, [the Kissingers] were committed to the Zionist cause, and that commitment formed the bedrock of Kissinger's view of the Middle East.” So it should not come as a surprise that Israeli leaders in 1973 considered him as their most important asset in the Nixon administration. Post-1967 developments had proven that he, at times, did not draw a distinction between American and Israeli interests in the Middle East.

Going to war became then more than a necessity. It was to be the only option available to Egypt and other Arab countries to liberate their territories from Israeli occupation. It was a decision fraught with dangers and demanded extreme courage on the part of President Sadat and President Hafez El-Assad of Syria. The war itself was a miracle in its own right regardless of the results that reflected American calculations vis-à-vis the former Soviet Union more than the realities on the battlefield.

The truth is that without the enormous American airlift to Israel during the war, Israel would have known an unprecedented defeat. In less than 10 days, the United States flew in almost 22,000 tons of armaments, munitions and 80 planes, half of which were Phantom fighter planes. Thus, the Egyptian army was fighting both Israel and the United States at the same time.

Strategically speaking, the war proved that Arab armies were prepared and ready to wage modern wars, that they could fight Israel for days on end while not only keeping their ground but also scoring victories. The October War has proven that with sophisticated weapon systems and well-organised and well-trained armies, Arab countries were capable of inflicting heavy losses on Israeli forces as well as the economy of the Israeli state.

Both the Egyptian and Syrian armies fought Israeli forces with Soviet armaments that proved their efficiency and precision no less than the American and Western armaments used by the Israeli army. What happened in October 1973 was that the United States looked at the war from the perspective of its rivalry with the former Soviet Union, not only in the world at large, but also in the Middle East. And Kissinger saw a great opportunity for Washington to use the results of the war to roll back Soviet influence in the region. President Sadat became a willing partner in this respect, unfortunately.

President Nixon made a comment on this particular point when he made it clear that, “We cannot allow a Soviet-supported operation to succeed against an American-supported operation. If it does, our credibility everywhere is severely shaken.”

This approach on the part of the Nixon administration, which was facing the full brunt of the Watergate affair, probably explains why Nixon, when he received reports from Kissinger that the Egyptian army could decide to race for the strategically-located Sinai passes, commented that, “The main thing is who wins this damn battle. It is not territory, you know you can give up gobs of territory; the question is do you beat the enemy. Now, if the Israelis let them, I think they ought to let them in there and kill them.” To which Kissinger answered: ”That is right. Should the Israelis clobber the Egyptians, that will turn out to be a pretty good position.”

I do not know whether President Sadat was aware of these positions by two American politicians he trusted most in the post-October diplomatic manoeuvring that led to two disengagement agreements in Sinai and one in the Golan Heights. Maybe if he had known, things would have turned differently for Egypt and for the Arabs.


Egypt Releases First-Ever October War Documents

07 Oct, 2013

After 40 years, the National Archive will on Sunday publish the first official documents on the October War with Israel.

The documents will be published in a 600-page book called Misr Fi Qalb Al-Ma’raka (Egypt in the Heart of the Battle).

National Archive director Abdel-Wahed El-Nabawe tells Ahram Online that the book will not contain military documents, but will give details on the state's preparation for war.

The documents will cover the period from 5 June 1967 until the end of the 1973 war.

The publication will end a publishing ban on documents on Egypt's modern wars.

The book includes documents from the minister of finance ordering that the ministry’s storages be opened to fulfil the armed forces' demands.

Another document from the health ministry reveals the ministry’s preparation for war by training new paramedics.

However, this are not the sort of documents required to study what really happened during the war.

The Archive does not have a single official paper regarding military operations or military records. Moreover, it does not have documents regarding any of Egypt's wars after 1952, including 1956 and 1967.

According to El-Nabawe, all the 1973 war documents are located at the defence ministry and no one has access to them.

The Archive's military documents stop in 1952 when the Free Officers topped the king. Since then the defence ministry has stopped delivering its documents to the Archive.

"We don't have any documents regarding military operations during the war, actually we don’t have any document regarding the Egyptian military since 1952," El-Nabawe said to Ahram Online.

"We only have documents from the 19th century, when the national army was established, and from the war ministry during the first half of the 20th century."

War documents are divided between the defence ministry and the presidency.

Historians looking for military documents have a number of alternatives: the National Archives of America, Israel, Britain, and Russia which were opened after the fall of the Soviet Union.

El-Nabawe has been calling for war documents to be deposited at the Archive so they can be indexed and released.

The Archive also fails to contain criminal and prison records, or the cables of Egyptian embassies around the world.

According to Khaled Fahmy, head of history at the American University in Cairo, who has long called for the release of these documents, all the histories of the October War are written from documents in the American, British and Israeli archives, which offer a different narrative from the Egyptian one.

"A quick look at the bibliographies of history books on the October War shows none of them depend on Egyptian sources, except for memoirs of retired generals - this is a disaster," he said at a public lecture earlier this year.

Historian Mohamed Afifi, head of history at Cairo University, says few people in Egypt are aware of the importance of history and the value of the documents.

"Usually the publication and release of documents is difficult in countries that are not completely democratic - we're living in one of them. The release of documents and freedom of information are two important measures related to freedom and democracy. The culture here ignores the importance of history, there's no conspiracy about it, there's ignorance," Afifi explains.

According to Ordinance No.472 of 1979 all documents related to national security should be classified. But the percentage of classified documents in most of the world's archive is between two and five percent.

Egyptian law obliges all state institutions to hand their documents over after a maximum of 15 years. The classification of documents is determined through cooperation between the institution concerned and the National Archive.

The law imposes different secrecy periods on documents according to the sensitivity of the material. Some documents are declassified after 15 to 25 years, and the maximum period is 50 years.

"The maximum period is 50 years but there are two exceptions. The first is if the document is still effective at the time of its declassification, in which case the secrecy period is extended," El-Nabawe says.

"The second is documents regarding individuals like prisoners, when the document is classified until 75 years after the death of the individual concerned."

Many institutions do not hand their documents to the Archive, including the military. Not only because the law is very weak, but because of the position of the Archive within the state bureaucracy.

"The Archive is a subdivision of the National Library and Archive, which is part of the culture ministry," El-Nabawe says

"This is wrong. The Archive should be an independent institution under the presidency or cabinet. The Archive should have the ability to oblige state institutions to hand over their documents."

The archive law underwent many amendments to help improve the collection, classification and declassification process after 2001, but every time it was stalled.

During the Mubarak era, Botrous-Ghali, the minister of finance, said changing the law was not important. During Morsi’s rule the situation did not change, prime minister Hisham Qandil said amending the law was not an urgent matter.

According to the law, the defence ministry should have deposited all of its 1973 war documents at the Archive in 1988.

El-Nabawe hopes cooperation with the defence ministry will take place over the next few months, but he believes no radical change or reform will happen unless the National Archive become independent.


Egypt's Army Chief Says Will Continue Protecting People’s Mandate

07 Oct, 2013

Egypt’s army chief and defence minister Abdel Ftattah El Sisi vowed on Sunday to continue fulfilling “the people's mandate to confront terrorism."

“We are responsible before God to continue fulfilling the mandate, we will protect Egypt and the Egyptians, this is a promise,” El Sisi said in a speech marking the 40th anniversary of the 1973 Arab-Israeli war at Cairo’s Air Defence Stadium in the late hours of Sunday.

“We are keen to be the custodians of this order and mandate,” he added.

In July, El-Sisi, a revered figure among many Egyptians, called on people to take to the streets to give him a mandate to “confront terrorism," few weeks after the army overthrew president Mohamed Morsi.

The call resulted in massive pro-army rallies, with analysts saying the huge display of support paved the way for the army to crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, which has seen most of its leaders arrested.

Despite the clampdown on the Brotherhood, which is accused by Egyptians authorities of masterminding “terrorist attacks” nationwide, defiant Islamists and Brotherhood sympathizers continued to stage weekly protests.

Hundreds of the Islamist group’s supporters were killed when the army crushed two pro-Morsi camps in Cairo last month and recurrent clashes ensued, hampering efforts to revive economy and tourism.

In the highest death toll in weeks, at least 51 were killed and more than 250 were injured in clashes pitting pro-Morsi demonstrators against their opponents and security forces on Sunday.

Egypt’s interim leadership says such demonstrations threaten public security.

In his speech, El Sisi spoke in an emotional tone to underline the “Egyptian people’s relationship with the army”.

“The military is as strong as the pyramids, because of the people,” he added.

“The people have always supported the army over the years. The army is willing to sacrifice the lives of its members for the good of the people.”

There have been calls for El-Sisi, who is branded by the Brotherhood as a traitor for deposing Morsi, to run for president in next year’s elections but he has hinted more than once he was not willing to assume such a role.


Ex-Presidential Hopeful Bothaina Kamel Attacked By 'Morsi Supporters'

07 Oct, 2013

Former presidential candidate Bothaina Kamel was allegedly attacked on Sunday by a group of men she described as Muslim Brotherhood supporters, she told Aswat Masriya.

Kamel says the windows of her car were smashed before she was physically assaulted by a group of bearded men, some of whom carried the yellow Rabaa flags used by supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi since the violent dispersal of their sit-in on 14 August.

The attack happened when she was passing through Giza's Dokki district, a site of previous clashes.

Kamel has been an active opponent of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood. She also opposed military rule following the ouster of Hosni Mubarak in 2011 and ran in the 2012 presidential elections.

Rallies took a violent turn in Dokki on Sunday, where police fired rounds of teargas after local residents clashed during pro-Morsi protests heading towards Tahrir Square, eyewitnesses and Ahram Online reporters said.

Clashes also broke out in several other locations across Egypt on the 40th anniversary of the 6 October War of 1973. The military planned celebrations while Morsi supporters called for fresh rallies.

On Friday, former spokesman of the National Salvation Front (NSF) and current spokesman of the Constitution Party, Khaled Dawoud, was stabbed by Morsi supporters in the chest and wrists.

He said he was attacked by protesters supporting Morsi while driving his car down Qasr El-Aini Street in front of Abou Al-Rish Bridge.

Egypt has been gripped by prolonged violence since the military overthrow of Morsi on 3 July after mass demonstrations against his turbulent year in office.

The ouster of the former president enraged Islamists, who have denounced the move as a violation of democratic "legitimacy."

Militants elsewhere have taken up arms against the state. The army has been battling an insurgency in Sinai, adjoining Israel and the Palestinian Gaza Strip, where they allege Islamist militants have mounted almost daily attacks on security and army targets, killing dozens.


Brotherhood's FJP Describes Sunday Violence As 'Massacre,' Calls For International Investigation

07 Oct, 2013

The political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), described Sunday's events as a "new massacre against peaceful protesters."

The party, in a media statement, has called for an international investigation into the murder of Morsi supporters by "police in civilian uniforms, snipers, and thugs protected by the army and police." 

Meanwhile, the pro-Morsi Alliance to Support Legitimacy, a coalition of Islamist forces, accused Egyptian security of double standards in "preventing from peaceful protest and protecting the marches of pro-army supporters."

Tens were killed and hundreds injured Sunday as pro-Morsi protesters clashed with security forces and pro-military crowds celebrating the 1973 anniversary of the war with Israel.


US More 'Understanding' Of Morsi Ouster: Egypt Interim President

06 Oct, 2013

In his first interview to the foreign press, Egypt's interim President Adly Mansour affirmed to the pan-Arab daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat on Sunday American and European Union support of the country's political roadmap, which will see the new constitution adopted in a month "at the latest," followed by parliamentary, then presidential elections.

A handful of political forces have been calling for a presidential vote to come first, until the country's suspended constitution is redrafted and a new electoral law is brought in place to govern the parliamentary elections.

President Adly Mansour asserted however that no alterations would be made to the political plan drawn following the overthrow of former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi: first a constitution, immediately followed by parliamentary elections to conclude two months later, and a presidential vote to begin two or three months after that.

Mansour affirmed the European Union's support of the transitional plan, adding that the bloc's Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton – who visited Egypt last week to push for political reconciliation with the Muslim Brotherhood – also vowed to work towards Europe's financial assistance of Egypt.

"She showed great interest in Egypt receiving proper financial backing in this phase and pledged to exert efforts with Europe's financial institutions, namely the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Restructuring and Development," Mansour told Al-Sharq Al-Awsat.

Asked about the Muslim Brotherhood's inclusion in the political process, Mansour said the group – from which hails the deposed Islamist president – has been instigating the international community's hostility towards Egypt since Morsi's downfall.

Mohamed Morsi, Egypt's first democratically-elected president, was toppled by Egypt's army on 3 July following mass nationwide protests against his turbulent year in office. He was widely blamed for endeavouring to enforce Brotherhood domination over Egypt's political institutions and sending the economy on a free fall.

Egyptian private media and interim authorities have blamed the violent turmoil afflicting Egypt on the Brotherhood, frequently portraying the group as a "terrorist" one.

Mansour noted that the Islamist group – emerging from the shadows following the downfall of autocrat Hosni Mubarak in the 25 January 2011 Revolution to win successive parliamentary and presidential elections – still lives in a "virtual world" and is in denial about its "dismal political failure."

The interim president clarified that his administration welcomes any "non-violent" faction to political life, and does not seek to "eliminate" anyone.

"We are moving forward with improving security and chasing outlaws as well as those who express their political views order to back Egypt's political and economic paths," he added.

Mansour said the US, which treaded carefully around Morsi's ouster and shied away from calling it a 'coup', is now more "understanding" of what took place in Egypt. "That was evidenced in [President Barack] Obama's last speech," he said.

US President Barack Obama told the annual UN General Assembly late in September that "Morsi was democratically-elected, but proved unwilling or unable to govern in a way that was fully inclusive."

Obama also lashed out at the new interim-government for decisions which he said were "inconsistent" with democracy.

Since Morsi's July ouster, Egyptian authorities have sustained a crackdown on the Brotherhood. Hundreds of group members and sympathisers were killed during a forced police dispersal of pro-Morsi protest camps. Senior leaders were rounded up and are currently detained on charges including inciting violence or taking part in it, allegations they deny.

"The interim government that replaced him responded to the desires of millions of Egyptians who believed the revolution had taken a wrong turn, but it too has made decisions that are inconsistent with inclusive democracy – through an emergency law, and restrictions on the press, civil society, and oppositional parties," Obama said.

However, the US president vowed that "the United States will maintain a constructive relationship with the interim government that promotes core interests like the Camp David Accords and counter-terrorism."


423 Arrested In Cairo Clashes on Armed Forces Day: Interior Ministry

07 Oct, 2013

Egypt's Interior Ministry said on Sunday it arrested 423 people in Cairo and Giza during clashes between supporters of deposed president Mohamed Morsi, their opponents, and police.

In a statement published on its official Facebook page, the Ministry said security forces arrested 180 people in Dokki and Manial areas in Giza and another 243 people in Ramses, downtown Cairo.

Meanwhile, General Sayed Shafiq, deputy Interior Minister, said that the security situation is now "under control" in Cairo.

Violent clashes erupted in Giza and downtown Cairo when pro-Morsi demonstrators and locals faced each other as the country marks the 40th anniversary of the October 1973 Arab-Israeli War.

Thousands of people took to the streets in support of the army during the celebrations. At the same time, hundreds of demonstrators staged marches in protest of what they see as a military "coup" against Morsi, who was deposed by the army in July amid popular protests against him.

Supporters of Morsi, mainly led by the Muslim Brotherhood - the group from which he hails - have been protesting the current interim leadership, calling for Morsi's reinstatement.