Military ruler calls on Egyptians to trust army

Military ruler calls on Egyptians to trust army

Egypt's embattled military ruler, Hussein Tantawi, Sunday called on the people to trust the army, which he said had never compromised national interests, dpa reported.

"We will not allow anyone inside (Egypt) or abroad to influence Egypt's decisions or its people's march," state television quoted Tantawi as saying during an address to a military ceremony in Cairo.

His remarks came amid growing discontent with the military's handling of a transitional period that followed former president Hosny Mubarak's overthrow last February.

Egypt's opposition is sharply critical of the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, saying it has blocked reforms and is tainted by human rights abuses.

Meanwhile, the junta's ties with the United States, Egypt's key donor, have worsened over a crackdown on 17 local and foreign pro-democracy organizations in the country in December.

The US has threatened to withhold 1.3 billion dollars in annual military aid to Egypt for barring American and European activists from leaving the country, pending probes into allegations of receiving illegal funding and working without authorization, American media reported this week.

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