Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces convened earlier this week to
discuss the possibility of nominating Defense Minister Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi
The move came despite US pressure to prevent the
nomination of a military figure.
The meeting, held on Monday evening,
lasted more than six hours and dealt with measures to be taken to secure this
month’s constitutional referendum, a source told the Egyptian newspaper
The council also discussed presidential elections, which will
probably take place before parliamentary elections.
It reviewed the
American pressure and Sisi shared the details of his most recent phone
conversation with US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel. Sisi said he told Hagel
he rejected outside intervention in the will of the Egyptian people.
source said that the Obama administration had carried out a campaign in the past
few days in which intensive contacts took place with several Gulf states led by
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait with the goal of getting them
to pressure Egypt to nominate a non-military figure for president. The Gulf
states rejected the American request.
The council also looked at the
possible successors to Sisi in case he ends up running for head of
A source told El-Watan that the military establishment is fully
backing a possible Sisi candidacy for president.