Egyptian President Adly Mansour has told citizens that the country is living through a "defining moment." Mansour vowed to restore stability and said that there was no going back after recent political events.
Mansour on Thursday vowed to protect the country from those keen to see the country fall into "chaos," appealing for reconciliation between different political groups.
"We are at a decisive moment in Egypt's history, which some want to steer into the unknown," he said.
"Some want a bloody path," said Mansour in his first televised speech since his inauguration earlier this month. "They want this period to be an introduction to violence and we want it to establish...the concept of protecting lives and reaffirming human rights."
"We will fight a battle for security until the end," added the president, stressing that there was no going back from the overthrow of President Mohammed Morsi on July 3.
Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood has refused to deal with Mansour, saying it will keep up its protests until Morsi is reinstated.
Mansour, a top judge who was chosen to be head of state by the military, has pressed ahead with the appointment of a new cabinet. However, Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood has vowed to escalate its protests to have him reinstated, with demonstrations planned for Friday.
Anti-Morsi activists were also expected to stage rival rallies.
The Egyptian military on Thursday renewed a warning, aimed at those planning to take to the streets, against violence. "The armed forces warn of any deviation from peaceful expressions of opinion, and the resort to violence," a statement on the army's Facebook page said. "Whoever resorts to violence in Friday's protests will endanger his life, and will be treated with utmost decisiveness, within legal bounds."
The speech and the Friday protests were timed to coincide with the tenth day of Ramadan, which is celebrated by Egyptians as the anniversary of the day on which their armed forces staged "victory crossing" over the Suez Canal in a 1973 war with Israel.
rc/hc (AFP, Reuters)