Egyptian army chief warns violence could trigger State collapse

(Photo: Reuters / Stringer)Protesters opposing Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi shout slogans as they march despite a nighttime curfew in the city of Suez January 28, 2013.

Egypt's top military official warned on Tuesday after recent deadly violence that the State could "collapse" if political forces in the country are unable to agree on a way forward.

"The continuation of the conflict between different political forces and their disagreement on running the affairs of the country may lead to the collapse of the state and threatens the future of the coming generations," said Gen. Abdul-Fattah al-Sisi in remarks quoted on the official Army Facebook page.

The general, who is also the defense minister said that "the attempt to affect the stability of the state institutions is a dangerous matter that harms Egyptian national security."

Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi, who has been in office since June, said on Tuesday that a reason for deploying troops along cities near the Suez Canal was to protect it for the sake of Egypt's economy and world trade, according to Reuters.

More than 50 people have been killed in violent street protests after President Mursi imposed a 30-day state of emergency in Port and two other cities along the canal, calling on the Army to restore order.

In addition, a call by President Mursi for a national dialogue to reduce the violence with political supporters and opponents in Cairo was largely ignored by the opposition.

Last week, dozens of people were injured in clashes between police and protesters as hundreds gathered in Cairo's Tahrir square to mark the second anniversary of the revolution against the regime led by former president Hosni Mubarak.

One of the main points of difference on the political front is between Islamists who approve of the nation's new constitution based on Sharia law and liberal and Christian groups who say it does not offer enough protections for human rights.

Former UN nuclear weapons inspector Mohammmed ElBaradei sai in a video message on his party's website that the "there must be a constitution for all Egyptians. A constitution that every one of us sees himself in."

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