CAIRO, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) -- Egyptian Defense Minister Abdel Fatah al-Sisi said Sunday that his country will stand firm against any attempts to burn governmental and religious institutions, according to the army's Facebook page.
The Egyptian army chief made the remarks in an apparent statement to the Muslim Brotherhood.
The armed forces will not retreat its mission from securing the country in face of violence, al-Sisi said, adding that "we are more keen to preserve Islam in its correct understanding, tolerant principals, which is far from terrorizing citizens."
"We won't stay silent in face of destroying the country and burning religious institutions," Sisi said, referring to the fact that 37 churches have been set ablaze in different governorates, mostly in Upper Egypt, following the dispersal operation against supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi on Wednesday, which left more than 700 killed.
"Those, who think that the country and the people will kneel in front of the violence, must reconsider their thought," Sisi said, adding that he will not keep silent about the attempts by some people to burn the country, terrorize people and send message to foreign media that civil war is underway in Egyptian streets.
Sisi ruled out the claims that the army wants to seize power, stressing that he finds the honor of protecting Egyptian people's will greater than that of ruling Egypt.
Sisi also noted the lost chances for the former government to achieve reconciliation among different political parties, saying that he has given chance for every side to find a peaceful solution to the crisis and has called on members of the former government to engage in the political process under the roadmap instead of destroying the country.
He said there will be no coordination with any foreign country over Egypt's internal affairs. Meanwhile, he thanked Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Bahrain and Kuwait for their support to Egypt, saying that Egyptian people will not forget their help.