CAIRO, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi delivered a long-waited speech on Thursday night denouncing recent bloody clashes outside the presidential palace and inviting all opposition forces to meet on Saturday for dialogue.
Morsi said in case the draft constitution is disapproved in the Dec. 15 referendum, he would call for the formation of a new constituent assembly.
The president noted he was willing to give up Article 6 of the constitutional declaration if necessary, which gives him the right to take "any required measures" to protect the country, after the dialogue with the political forces.
He also reaffirmed the constitutional declaration was only meant to protect the country and to respond to accomplish the new constitution. Morsi stressed that Saturday's meeting with opposition figures, heads of political parties and revolutionary youth is aimed to reach an inclusive and productive agreement to unite Egyptians and to outline a roadmap in case the draft constitution was declined by the public, asserting the constitutional referendum would be held on Dec. 15 as scheduled.
Morsi lamented the death of six people in Wednesday's clashes outside the palace, noting that the affiliates with the former regime were involved in the confrontation by hiring thugs and providing them with weapons to cause strife and instigate violence among peaceful protesters.
On Nov. 22, Morsi issued a new constitutional declaration which rules that all laws, decrees and constitutional declarations issued by the president since he came into office on June 30 are final and unchallengeable by anybody, which triggered a new wave of nationwide protests.
Morsi later promised that the declaration was only temporary and would be withdrawn as soon as the draft constitution is approved by Egyptians in the upcoming referendum, which was scheduled on Dec. 15. But the move failed to quench the massive protests.
CAIRO, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood (MB) group announced Thursday that five of the group members have been killed and another 1,500 injured in Wednesday's clashes between the opponents and supporters of President Mohamed Morsi, the Brotherhood said in a statement issued Thursday.
The statement said the clashes flared up when some armed groups tried to break into the presidential palace, describing the incident as treachery, bullying and terrorization. Full story
CAIRO, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- Egyptian protesters set fire to Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in the capital Cairo on Thursday in response to Wednesday's clashes that killed six people and injured over 1,000, said the Brotherhood's official website.
The website said that over 3,000 protesters broke into the Brotherhood's main headquarters and set fire to its contents. Full story
WASHINGTON, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday called his Egyptian counterpart, Mohamed Morsi, to express his "deep concern" about the deaths and injuries ensuing from protests over expanded presidential power and a draft constitution in the Arab country.
"President Obama called President Morsi today to express his deep concern about the deaths and injuries of protesters in Egypt," the White House said, adding that Obama emphasized that all political leaders in Egypt should make clear to their supporters that "violence is unacceptable." Full story
CAIRO, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- Egyptian Vice President Mahmoud Mekky stressed Wednesday that the constitutional referendum will be held on Dec. 15 as scheduled, calling on all opposition forces for dialogue over the controversial articles of the draft constitution.
Mekky said Wednesday at a press conference at the presidential palace that the opposition forces can specify all the controversial articles of the draft constitution in a written document, adding the charter is acceptable to be amended after the new parliamentary elections. Full story