Middle East

Egypt's army warns over disruption after Morsi deposed

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Media captionPro-Morsi supporters tell Lyse Doucet they are willing to die for their cause

Egypt's defence minister has warned against any attempt to disrupt the country's "difficult" transition.

His statement comes almost a week after the army deposed Islamist President Mohammed Morsi and appointed top judge Adly Mansour as interim leader.

Mr Mansour has named former the finance minister, Hazem el-Beblawi, as his prime minister.

In turn, Mr el-Beblawi has said he will offer some cabinet posts to members of Mr Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood movement.

Image caption The army's move has caused celebrations in some quarters and anger in others

Mr el-Beblawi's appointment was announced early on Tuesday, along with that of Mohamed ElBaradei, who was named deputy president with responsibility for foreign affairs.

Mr el-Beblawi served as finance minister during the period of military rule in the aftermath of Hosni Mubarak's overthrow. Mr ElBaradei is a liberal politician who was once the head of the UN nuclear agency.

The ultra-conservative Nour party said it was still studying the nomination of Mr ElBaradei. His candidacy as prime minister foundered earlier in the week when Nour objected.

The party withdrew from talks to form a new government, but reports on Tuesday suggested it was back on board.

A presidential statement suggested the military-backed interim government was reaching out to both the Nour party and the Muslim Brotherhood.

"There is no objection at all to including members of those two parties in the government," a presidential spokesman told the state news agency.

Mr el-Beblawi told BBC Arabic that he would be choosing his ministers based on experience and efficiency, but said it was "difficult for me to specify when" he would finish forming the government.

'Too important'

In a televised speech, Defence Minister Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi said the "future of the nation is too important and sacred for manoeuvres or hindrance, whatever the justifications".

He said that neither the army nor the people of Egypt would accept "the stalling or disruption" of this "difficult and complex" period.

According to the BBC's Wyre Davies, in Cairo, emotions are still raw and compromise is a word many people are not ready to use.

Egypt has been in turmoil since Mr Morsi was overthrown last week, with protesters both for and against the ousted president massing on the streets.

On Monday, at least 51 people - mostly pro-Morsi supporters from his Muslim Brotherhood movement - were killed outside the barracks where he is thought to be held.

The families of the dead have said they have been told they will only be allowed to have the bodies returned if they accept official post-mortem examination reports.

At the main morgue, BBC reporters heard allegations that the army and its supporters in the media were deliberately covering up what had happened.

That is not the only problem facing the new interim administration.

The Muslim Brotherhood has rejected the interim government's new timetable for elections, saying it is illegitimate.

Even the Tamarod protest movement - which led the anti-Morsi protests - has said it was not consulted on an election plan which Mr Mansour mentioned on Tuesday, and has asked to see the interim leader to discuss the situation.

Financial aid

Mr Morsi was Egypt's first freely-elected president. His removal last Wednesday followed days of mass protests by people who accused him of becoming increasingly authoritarian, pursuing an Islamist agenda, and failing to tackle Egypt's economic woes.

The army's moves were welcomed by some Gulf states, and two - the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia - have made major pledges of financial help in a show of support for the new administration.

The United Arab Emirates has promised a loan of $2bn (£1.4bn) and a grant of $1bn, while Saudi Arabia has approved an aid package of $5bn.

According to the BBC's Arab affairs editor Sebastian Usher, both countries fear and distrust the Muslim Brotherhood, whose members fanned out across the Gulf as teachers and technicians decades ago to escape persecution in Egypt.

But other nations were strongly against the army's actions - perhaps the most vocal of which was Turkey.

In the aftermath of the ousting of Mr Morsi, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said: "It is unacceptable for a government, which has come to power through democratic elections, to be toppled through illicit means and, even more, a military coup."

Late on Tuesday, Egypt summoned Turkey's ambassador to Cairo to complain about what it saw as Turkish interference in Egyptian affairs.

Egyptian officials have asked Ankara "not to take sides", according to the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, like Mr Morsi, has his roots in political Islam. He, too, has faced sometimes violent street protests in the past few weeks.

After voicing initial concern at the dramatic events in Egypt last week, the US said on Tuesday that it was encouraged that Egypt's interim government had "laid out a plan for the path forward" in its transition announcement.

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