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Middle East

Egypt's Sisi to issue statement after meeting army brass

People walk past a banner for Egypt's army chief, Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, in downtown Cairo, March 24, 2014. (REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh)

CAIRO: Egyptian army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is to make a statement shortly, the military said, after a meeting of top brass at which he was expected to resign to run for president.

Sisi, who is also defence minister, must quit the army before he can contest the presidential election which is expected before June.

Sisi will "issue a statement soon," the military spokesman said on his Facebook page, after the meeting of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which was also attended by interim president Adly Manour.

Before the meeting, the army chief gathered his belongings at his office in the defence ministry, the state-owned Al-Ahram newspaper reported on its website.

During the meeting, Mansour promoted army chief of staff Lieutenant General Sedki Sobhi, who is expected to replace Sisi as armed forces chief, to the rank of general, military officials said.

Sisi is easily the country's most popular political figure after he overthrew the freely elected but divisive Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July.

He is riding on wave of nationalist fervour and demands for a firm leader who can restore stability after more than three years of turmoil since the overthrow of veteran president Hosni Mubarak.

But Morsi's supporters have not given up their campaign of protests against his ouster. At least one person was killed on Wednesday in clashes between pro-Morsi students and police, the health ministry said.

In all, at least 1,400 people, mostly Morsi supporters, have been killed in violence since his overthrow.

 

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Summary

Egyptian army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is to make a statement shortly, the military said, after a meeting of top brass at which he was expected to resign to run for president.

During the meeting, Mansour promoted army chief of staff Lieutenant General Sedki Sobhi, who is expected to replace Sisi as armed forces chief, to the rank of general, military officials said.

Sisi is easily the country's most popular political figure after he overthrew the freely elected but divisive Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July.


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