Egypt's military warns of 'disastrous consequences' if political crisis not resolved

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Associated Press

Posted on December 8, 2012 at 11:33 AM

CAIRO (AP) — A sit-in by opponents of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi's continues around the presidential palace in Cairo today.

Soldiers have sealed off the palace with tanks and barbed wire, and Egypt's military leaders are wading into the political crisis after protests turned violent this week.

The turmoil began last month after Morsi granted himself authority free of judicial oversight and his Islamist allies rushed together a draft constitution. The move touched off street clashes between the president's supporters and protesters accusing him of becoming a new strongman. At least six civilians have been killed and several offices of the president's Muslim Brotherhood torched in the unrest.

In a statement today, the military warns of "disastrous consequences" if the crisis is not resolved and saying dialogue is the "best and only" way to overcome the conflict. The military says it will not allow the country to fall into "a dark tunnel" of violence.

Morsi too has called for a dialogue, but the main opposition leaders declined to attend a proposed session today. They say talks can only take place if Morsi rescinds his decrees and cancels the Dec. 15 referendum on the constitution.

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127-c-13-(Kim Gamel, AP correspondent)-"supporters frequently clashing"-AP correspondent Kim Gamel reports that the army is clearly worried that tensions could boil and violence could intensify on the streets of Egypt's main cities. (8 Dec 2012)

<<CUT *127 (12/08/12)>> 00:13 "supporters frequently clashing"

126-c-09-(Kim Gamel, AP correspondent)-"the current crisis"-AP correspondent Kim Gamel reports that Egypt's military appears to be asserting itself again. (8 Dec 2012)

<<CUT *126 (12/08/12)>> 00:09 "the current crisis"

125-c-13-(Kim Gamel, AP correspondent)-"resolved by dialogue"-AP correspondent Kim Gamel reports that concerns are growing among Egypt's military that tensions could boil over into greater violence. (8 Dec 2012)

<<CUT *125 (12/08/12)>> 00:13 "resolved by dialogue"

APPHOTO HAS108: Egyptian army engineers build a cement clock barrier securing the perimeter of the presidential palace, background, as protesters opposed to President Mohammed Morsi gather in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012. Egypt's military warned Saturday of 'disastrous consequences' if the crisis that sent tens of thousands of protesters back into the streets is not resolved, signaling the army's return to an increasingly polarized and violent political scene.(AP Photo/Hassan Ammar) (8 Dec 2012)

<<APPHOTO HAS108 (12/08/12)>>

APPHOTO HAS104: Egyptian protesters chant anti-Muslim Brotherhood and Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi slogans outside the presidential palace under a banner with a defaced picture of president Mohammed Morsi and Arabic that reads "the people want to bring down the regime," in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012. Egypt's military warned Saturday of 'disastrous consequences' if the crisis that sent tens of thousands of protesters back into the streets is not resolved, signaling the army's return to an increasingly polarized and violent political scene.(AP Photo/Hassan Ammar) (8 Dec 2012)

<<APPHOTO HAS104 (12/08/12)>>

APPHOTO HAS114: Egyptian riot policemen guard a gate of the presidential palace, background, amid ongoing protests, in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012. Egypt's military has warned of 'disastrous consequences' if the political crisis gripping the country is not resolved through dialogue. " (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar) (8 Dec 2012)

<<APPHOTO HAS114 (12/08/12)>>

APPHOTO HAS106: Egyptian protesters chant anti-Muslim Brotherhood and Egyptian President Mohammed Mosri slogans outside the presidential palace under a banner with a defaced picture of President Mohammed Morsi and Arabic that reads "the people want to bring down the regime," at the protests site, in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012. Egypt's military has warned of 'disastrous consequences' if the political crisis gripping the country is not resolved through dialogue. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar) (8 Dec 2012)

<<APPHOTO HAS106 (12/08/12)>>

APPHOTO HAS121: An Egyptian protester takes a picture with his mobile of another in front of an Egyptian army tank outside the presidential palace, background, in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012. Egypt's military warned Saturday of 'disastrous consequences' if the crisis that sent tens of thousands of protesters back into the streets is not resolved, signaling the army's return to an increasingly polarized and violent political scene.(AP Photo/Hassan Ammar) (8 Dec 2012)

<<APPHOTO HAS121 (12/08/12)>>

APPHOTO AMA101: Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi poses during a photo opportunity at the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012. Egypt's military said Saturday that serious dialogue is the "best and only" way to overcome the nation's deepening conflict over a disputed draft constitution hurriedly adopted by Islamist allies of President Mohammed Morsi, and recent decrees granting himself near-absolute powers. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo) (8 Dec 2012)

<<APPHOTO AMA101 (12/08/12)>>

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