Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, on Sunday said that the armed forces consider the interests of the country above all else, and that the army is not a substitute for legitimacy.
He also said that the armed forces are impartial to all political parties.
Talking to leaders of the central military region, Tantawi said that the Egyptian army is committed to defending the homeland and protecting national security. “It is an uncompromising and sacred task," he said.
He called on the armed forces to stay fully alert and restrained in order to preserve the security and stability of the country. “The army is an integral part of this great people, who revolted for freedom and democracy,” he said. “And they appreciate its role.”
He added that, since he became responsible, he has been keen on making procedures for a sound democratic life, free legislative elections, a new constitution and the election of a new president, all in order to hand over power on the announced deadline. “We want to speed up the building of the democratic state that the Egyptian people desire,” he said.
“The armed forces will not allow outlaws to terrorize peaceful citizens or destruct public and private property,” he said, adding that firm legal action would be taken against such acts.
The SCAF, which has been running the country since the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak on 11 February 2011, has promised to hand over power to an elected president no later than the end of June 2012.