Cairo (CNN) — Egypt’s military deposed the country’s first democratically elected president Wednesday night after he failed to meet demands to share power with opponents who thronged the streets of Cairo, state-run media reported.
Troops moved into key positions around the capital and surrounded a demonstration by Morsy’s supporters in a Cairo suburb as a 48-hour ultimatum from the generals expired. Citing an unnamed presidential source, the state-run newspaper Al-Ahram reported that “the General Command of the Armed Forces told President Morsy around 7 p.m. (1 p.m. ET) that he is no longer a president for the republic.”
The state-run Middle East News Agency reported Wednesday night that leaders of the country’s Muslim and Christian communities would join military leaders and opposition figures to lay out an agreement “to exit the current political crisis.”
The report came shortly after a deadline issued by the generals to Egypt’s first democratically elected leader expired. At the final hour, Morsy offered to form an interim coalition government “that would manage the upcoming parliamentary electoral process, and the formation of an independent committee for constitutional amendments to submit to the upcoming parliament,” Morsy said in a posting on his Facebook page.
He noted that hundreds of thousands of supporters and protesters had packed plazas around the country, and he urged that his countrymen be allowed to express their opinions through the ballot box.
“One of the mistakes I cannot accept — as the president of all Egyptians — is to side with one party over another, or to present the scene from one side only. To be fair, we need to listen to the voice of people in all squares,” the statement read.
But as night fell Wednesday, Egyptian troops were taking control of key points around the capital and surrounded a pro-Morsy demonstration at a Cairo mosque. Gehad El-Haddad, a spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood, reported via Twitter that tanks were on the streets.
Morsy was said to be working from a complex belonging to the country’s Republican Guard, across the street from the presidential palace, according to Egyptian state media. Reuters reported that troops were setting up barricades around that facility.
In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the U.S. government — Egypt’s leading ally — could not confirm reports of a coup. Psaki said the United States is not taking sides and urged all parties to come to a peaceful resolution to the “tense and fast-moving” situation.
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