Middle East

Egypt President Adly Mansour in first public address

Interim leader Adly Mansour delivers first address since taking his post, 18 July 2013
Image caption Adly Mansour said the government would "battle for security until the end" in a televised address

Egypt's interim President Adly Mansour has vowed to protect the country against those who seek chaos and violence, in his first public address.

Two weeks after the army ousted President Mohammed Morsi, Mr Mansour said his government was committed to restoring security and stability.

Meanwhile, Mr Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood has called for mass rallies on Friday to demand his reinstatement.

The group refused to join the new interim cabinet unveiled this week.

"We are going through a critical stage and some want us to move towards chaos and we want to move towards stability. Some want a bloody path," the interim leader said, speaking in a pre-recorded message aired on state TV.

"We will fight a battle for security until the end. We will preserve the revolution."

Mr Morsi was ousted on 3 July in what his supporters have said was a military coup. The army, however, says it was fulfilling the demands of the people after mass anti-Morsi protests.

EU mediation

Muslim Brotherhood supporters are demanding Mr Morsi's reinstatement and have been holding a round-the-clock vigil outside the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque, in the east of the capital, and at Cairo University in Giza.

Brotherhood officials said on Thursday they would accept EU mediation in talks to resolve the crisis but that they would continue their protests.

"Restoring legitimacy is non-negotiable," Brotherhood spokesman Gehad el-Haddad said after meeting with EU envoy Bernardino Leon.

It is the first time the group has proposed such negotiations since the overthrow of Mr Morsi earlier this month, although both the Brotherhood and the EU cautioned that the proposal was at a very early stage.

The Muslim Brotherhood rejected Prime Minister Hazem al-Beblawi's transitional cabinet, which was sworn in earlier this week.

"It's an illegitimate government, an illegitimate prime minister, an illegitimate cabinet. We don't recognise anyone in it," Gehad el-Haddad said.

Dozens of people have died and hundreds more have been injured in deadly clashes between Morsi supporters and security forces over the last two weeks.

Since Mr Morsi's ousting, the Egyptian army has been trying to contain outbreaks of violence by militants in the restive Sinai peninsula.

On Thursday, the army said it had killed 10 jihadist fighters as part of a security campaign, a day after three policemen were killed in an attack in North Sinai.