Egypt: Interior Minister - Police Not Party to Political Conflict

Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim said on Sunday 10/3/2013 that police apparatus has nothing to do with raging political conflict between the regime and the opposition, adding the police are working to provide security for citizens.

Addressing a press conference, the Minister called for keeping police away from any disagreements among the political factions "we are an independent national apparatus which is working for the sake of citizens" he said adding we are not belonging to a certain faction or current be it the opposition, or the National Salvation Front of anybody else.

Ibrahim stressed that all policemen are working at a tough and challenging time given the political conflicts between the opposition and pro-regime powers.

Many Armed men infiltrate among protesters, making it very difficult for policemen to differentiate between them, the minister said.

The Interior Minister stressed that all police personnel are exercising utmost self-restraint at a difficult time when it is impossible for anyone to differentiate between peaceful protesters and others.

Mohamed Ibrahim expressed amazement at the volley of rumors spread by media on police apparatus, saying "I cannot imagine that the police apparatus can be attacked in such way in all media outlets. Policemen are being pictured as killers in the media".

The Interior Minister urged Egyptians not to drag the police into political conflicts and to put into consideration the country's higher interests.

"We ask everyone to leave us to provide security and to get us out of the current political conflict," Ibrahim said. "We, Egyptian police, do not belong to any political current."We work for no one. We are an independent national apparatus that serves all citizens".

He expressed appreciation for all police personnel who are performing their job.

The minister stressed that the army cannot replace the police, warning that the current fierce offensive on police force might lead to its withdrawal.

Asked about the protest of some officers, he said they have some requests and "we are mulling them".

As for threats by some Jihadi groups to target police outposts in Sinai, he said the Sinai file is run by more than one body, including the general and military Intelligence, the army and the Interior Ministry. There is full coordination among all these bodies to address the hazards in Sinai, he added.

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