Former Egypt PM warns against rallying

Hisham Qandil proposes plan to "clear atmosphere" after interim prime minister issues warning against armed protesters.

    Egypt's former prime minister has warned against rallies and outlined a six-point plan to defuse a deep political crisis, as the country prepared for a day of mass protests.

    In a video statement released on Thursday, Hisham Qandil condemned the call by the army chief General Abdel Fattah El Sisi on Egyptians to join street rallies and support action on Friday against "violence and terrorism".

    Qandil, who served under the deposed President Mohamed Morsi, said "all the media rhetoric" should end, and warned Egyptians to "avoid any gatherings, rallies or demonstrations."

    He said the interim government needed to "clear the atmosphere" and set right perceived injustices since Morsi was toppled last month.

    Earlier on Thursday, interim Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi said the escalation of violence among protesters caused concern.

    "The presence of weapons, intimidation, fear ... causes concern, especially when there are calls for many to come out tomorrow from different sides," he told a news conference.

    Elsewhere in Qandil's video statement, he called for all detainees arrested following anti-Morsi protests to be released, an end to legal proceedings and the freezing of assets against those who are detained, and asked for an investigation to be launched into the deaths of scores of pro-Morsi demonstrators at the Republican Guard Club on July 8.

    He also called for a delegation visit to Morsi, who is in custody in an unknown place, to check on his health and wellbeing.

    "I believe all these elements, if implemented swiftly, will clear the atmosphere and enable the parties to move forward and engage in negotiations," he said.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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