28 January 2013

Egypt: President Announces Curfew and State of Emergency in Canal Governorates, Calls for National Dialogue

President Mohamed Morsi declared, in his speech to the nation on Sunday 27/1/2013, the state of emergency in the three Canal governorates; Port Said, Suez and Ismailia for 30 days and impose a curfew from 9:00pm to 6:00am.

In his speech to the egyptian people the president said that Egypt has lived over the past few days critical times in which dear Egyptian blood was shed and public and private property came under sinful attacks by people who disguised under cloak of the noble demonstrations in which many Egyptians participated to express their opinion peacefully on the second anniversary of the January 25 Revolution. Regrettably, some people steered away from the peacefulness of the revolution and some sinful hands killed and wounded innocent citizens. "I extend my condolences to all Egyptians for the loss of these lives from both civilians and police, he added. I especially extend my condolences to the residents of the brave Port Said city and the steadfast Suez city who led the struggle of the Egyptians in hard days with several attacks against Egypt being dashed at the rock of their struggle. The inhabitants of the two cities have taught generations forms of patriotism and sacrifice", he added.

Court rulings should be respected as they are not aimed against a particular segment and are not biased towards another. There is a clear difference between peaceful expression of opinion and violence and sinful attack on lives and property of this great people.

Protecting the rights of the people is my sacred duty as the right of any citizen to freedom and his right to live in peace and security are inseparable as human rights are a comprehensive system striking a balance between security and freedom, he added.

"All that we have seen over the past few days of violent acts including attacking public and private property, intimidating citizens, blocking roads and halting public means of transportation and using weapons are alien practices to the Egyptian people and have nothing to do with the great peaceful Egyptian revolution. These acts can only be described as violation of the law and the revolution or rather an anti-revolution with its ugly face", said the president.

The Egyptian people reject these acts and reject those who defend them or even do not denounce them. Defending the nation is the responsibility of everybody and we will stand up with all force and decisiveness under the State of the law to any threat to the country's security.

Within this framework, "I extend all thanks to the policemen for their great efforts in defending the citizens and the State institutions. I also salute the men of the Armed Forces for immediately implementing my directives for maintaining the nation's security and safeguarding its property", added the president.

"I am following up the legal measures for bringing the criminals to justice as soon as possible. Therefore:

* I issued directives to the Interior Ministry men to handle with all force and decisiveness anybody who violates the safety of the citizens, their lives and public and private property.

* I confirmed before that I am against any extraordinary measures but I also confirmed that in case I was forced to use such measures I will do to stop bloodletting and to maintain security against rioters and outlaws.

Cognizant of the Constitution I decided:

* Declaring the state of emergency in the governorates of Port Said, Suez and Ismailia for 30 days as of Sunday midnight

· Imposing a curfew in the governorates of Port Said, Suez and Ismailia during the state of emergency as of 9pm to 6am.

I renew once again that in case I was obliged to take more similar steps for the interests of Egypt I will not hesitate to do", according to the president.

Dialogue among the Egyptians is indispensable and is the only way to pilot Egypt to safety and stability. This is why I have decided to invite leaders of the political powers for dialogue tomorrow to discuss the current situation and outline the topics and mechanisms for dialogue. A detailed presidential statement will be issued on this score later tonight.

There is no backtracking on freedom, democracy and rights of citizenship that were called for by the January 25 revolution. I have full confidence that the future will bring to Egypt and all Egyptians progress and prosperity, he added.

Press Statement

On the call by the President of the Republic for political dialogue on the current situation and the recent developments of the political scene and discussing mechanisms of national dialogue

Within the framework of follow-up efforts by the President of the Republic of the current situation in several Egyptian governorates including Port Said, Suez and downtown Cairo and as part of following up the political initiatives that were issued today by several respectable national powers and in confirmation of the decisions of the National Defense Council that were issued yesterday about national dialogue and within the framework of what was mentioned in the statement of the President of the Republic in which he invited the symbols and leaders of political powers into an urgent meeting in the Presidency, the President of the Republic invites into a meeting the heads of the following parties and symbols of the following political trends:

1- Building and Development

2- Socialist Popular Coalition

3- Freedom and Justice

4- Civilization

5- Al-Dostour

6- Egyptian Social Democratic Party

7- Free Egyptians

8- Al-Nour

9- Al-Wasat

10- Al-Wafd

11- Strong Egypt

Along with Dr. Ayman Nour, Mr. Hamdeen Sabbahi, Mr. Amr Moussa and Dr. Mohammed Salim El-Awwa,

This is to discuss the following:

* The Current situation and recent developments of the political scene

* Mechanisms for dialogue

* Reaching an agreement on the issues included in the agenda of national dialogue.

The meeting will be held at the Presidency of the Republic in Heliopolis on Monday 28/1/2013 at 6:00 pm.

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