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The Muslim Brotherhood has praised a statement by the Egyptian Armed Forces, while a military source emphasized that the statement did not signal a return to military involvement in politics.
Abdel Khaleq al-Sherif, a senior official in the group that propelled President Mohamed Morsy into elected office, said the statement was "balanced," adding it was right for the military "not [to engage] in political manuevers."
An official spokesperson had earlier said that the Armed Forces is closely following the current political situation in Egypt and will not allow violence.
In a statement posted on the Armed Forces’ official Facebook page, the spokesperson said that “the Armed Forces watches with sorrow and concern the developments of the current circumstances, and the status of the divisions and unfortunate events threatening the pillars of the Egyptian state and the national security."
The statement urged all political forces to pursue dialogue.
"We support national dialogue, and serious and sincere democratic process on the debatable issues and points, to reach consensus,” the statement said.
It added, “The dialogue approach is the best way and the only access to consensus on the interest of the nation and citizens. The opposite would get us into a dark tunnel with disastrous consequences, which we will not allow.”
The statement also said that the loyalty of the Egyptian armed forces is for the people. “The military institution always sides with the great people of Egypt, and is keen on their unity."
The spokesperson further called on all citizens to maintain the security and safety of the nation and place Egypt’s interest above all, in the framework of "legal legitimacy and democratic rules which we agreed upon and accepted to move to the future on which basis.”
A military council governed Egypt during an interim period after former President Hosni Mubarak, who was previously a military officer, was ousted last year. The Armed Forces have declined to intervene so far in the latest political crisis.