Tantawi: We’ll strike down any attempt to break Egypt’s unity

Egyptan General Hussein Tantawi on Monday vowed that the state will not tolerate the spread of sectarian strife in Egypt.

At a graduation ceremony for a fresh batch of police cadets, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, who heads Egypt's ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, said Egypt will strike down any attempts to break Muslim-Coptic unity.

Tantawi's remarks come in the aftermath of sectarian clashes in Imbaba more than a week ago. The violence left 15 people dead and more than 200 injured.

Egyptians should protect their revolution by bolstering security and boosting production, Tantawi said.

Tantawi said that media outlets should be honest in their coverage, and urged outlets "fishing in troubled waters" to keep Egypt's interests in mind and avoid sparking conflicts.

Security is the cornerstone of Egypt's future, he said, adding that the military, the police and the judiciary constitute a shield of protection for Egypt and its people.

Speaking about the security void that followed 25 January, Tantawi said, "At some point the situation was grim, but that was out of the hands of security and the police."

"Failure to control the security situation will have repercussions for the economy," he went on. "The economy in Egypt is suffering due to the sit-ins which give highly dangerous groups and thugs the opportunity to exploit the protests to achieve self-serving and illegitimate goals."

He said that although the security forces serve to keep such forces in check, the former needs the help of the Egyptian people in doing so.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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