July 3, 2013
Cairo (CNN) — Egypt’s military leaders declared Wednesday the army “will sacrifice our blood” to defend the country just hours after President Mohamed Morsy refused to bow to their ultimatum that he find a solution to the deadly unrest sweeping the country or be pushed aside.
The statement posted on the official Facebook page of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces came as the clock ticked on the military’s plan to suspend Egypt’s constitution, dissolve the Islamist-led parliament and sideline the president, if Morsy does not find a way to end the unrest, military sources told Arab media and Reuters.
“We swear by God that we are ready to sacrifice our blood for Egypt and its people against any terrorist, extremist or fool,” said the statement, which was titled “The Final Hours.”
The military has given Morsy until 4 p.m. local time (10 a.m. ET ) to come up with a power-sharing agreement or face a military solution, the sources said.
Morsy refused to bow to the ultimatum, setting the stage for a possible showdown.
In a televised speech late Tuesday, Morsy declared he was elected president in balloting that was free and representative of the will of the people.
“The people of Egypt gave me the mandate for president. They chose me in a free election. The people created a constitution which requires me to stay with the constitution,” he said. “I have no choice but to bear responsibility for the Egyptian constitution.”
The conflict pits Morsy’s supporters — the Muslim Brotherhood — against an opposition angered by what they say is the president’s failure to take steps to improve conditions more than two years after a popular revolution that ousted Hosni Mubarak. Read full