Egyptian Army Issues Morsi 48-Hour Ultimatum

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Egypt's army issued a powerful warning via Egyptian state TV that it will intervene if President Mohammed Morsi doesn't "meet the people's demands."

It gave Morsi and his opponents 48 hours to reach an agreement.

"If the people's demands are not achieved before the agreed period of time, then it is the duty of the military…to announce a roadmap for the future," army officials said.

Anti-Morsi demonstrators welcomed the army's announcement.

"We are very happy here," an anti-Morsi demonstrator named Rita said. "We never lost confidence in our army; we always trusted that our army will be with us. We are very proud, we are very happy. We are proud to be Egyptians. Egyptians made it."

Morsi supporters fear the army is poised to take over.

"It is clear that the army is planning a coup," Morsi supporter Mohammed Amir said. "The army must support the legitimacy of the president and the legitimacy of the constitution."

Since Sunday, millions of Egyptians have poured into the streets to demand Morsi leave office. One commentator called it the biggest mass demonstration in human history.

After one year in office, they say Morsi put the goals of the Muslim Brotherhood ahead of the good of Egypt. Some say the current crisis puts the Muslim Brotherhood at a crossroads.

"The next step for the Brotherhood is one of two choices: either to revert to violence -- and then they will suffer for the next I don't know how many years for that decision -- or just decide to keep it peaceful and respond to people's demands, and then maybe we're looking forward for national reconciliation between all of us," Egyptian leader Shadi Ghazali Harb said.

U.S. President Barack Obama, who is wrapping up a visit to several African nations, called for restraint and compromise on both sides.

Yet many in the opposition accuse the Obama administration of helping the Muslim Brotherhood come to power.

What the army will do when the 48-hour ultimatum expires remains to be seen.

Organizers of the mass demonstrations say if Morsi does not step down, they'll intensify their campaign, including civil disobedience.

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Chris Mitchell

Chris Mitchell

CBN News Middle East Bureau Chief

In a time where the world's attention is riveted on events in the Middle East, CBN viewers have come to appreciate Chris Mitchell's timely reports from this explosive region of the world. Mitchell brings a Biblical and prophetic perspective to these daily news events that shape our world.