Egyptian military broadcast 48 hour ultimatum

General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Egyptian defence minister and head of the armed forces, has made a statement (a rough translation can be seen here) on Egyptian state television threatening that the army will take action if no solution is found to the protests calling for the resignation of president Mohamed Morsi, which are taking place on a massive scale and sometimes culminating in violent clashes.

The military leader said that the situation facing the homeland is “dire” and the level of protest "unprecedented", and said that the demands of the people must be met. However, the armed forces will not act as a "party of politics or government" as this would be undemocratic (and would mean that it is not technically a coup) - it would merely act in the interests of national security.

Speaking at a news conference with Tanzanian president Jakaya Kikwete, US president Barack Obama has said that president Morsi was democratically elected, but that his government must respect opposition and minority groups. While the protests haven't reached the level of violence many had feared, he said that the potential for escalation remains, and called for both sides to refrain from violence. In particular, he condemned the assaulting of women during the protests.