Egypt’s president praises military

Egypt’s president praises military

CAIRO - The Associated Press
Egypt’s president praises military

Egypt’s President Mohammed Morsi. AP photo

Egypt’s President Mohammed Morsi on Aug. 4 gave a lengthy speech to the army in praise of its role during the run-up to his election, proclaiming that he, his government and the powerful generals will cooperate for the future.

Speaking with the head of the armed forces, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi by his side, and hundreds troops including generals in the audience, Morsi stressed his legitimacy as Egypt’s first popularly elected president, but also acknowledged that his ascension to the office would have been impossible without the military’s support. The words signaled an understanding between him and the army, after initial tensions during Egypt’s transition period since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, himself a former air force commander who led the country for three decades.

“The will of the people will never be against the armed forces,” he said, in a thinly veiled reference to his own office. “It is with the armed forces’ help, after God, that we will protect Egypt’s interest internally and internationally.” He also said the armed forces remain”cornerstone” in Egypt’s relations with the international community, and a factor for the country’s political and economic stability.

“This president is the supreme head of the armed forces because of the will of the people. I will not allow anyone to offend the armed forces or this nation, or try to obstruct this democratic path which you protected,” he said.

The military, which took the reins of power after Mubarak was deposed in a popular uprising in early 2011, also has control over the process of drafting Egypt’s new constitution.