Egypt’s Defense Minister and coup leader Gen. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi will run for president – possibly before the end of the year, DEBKAfile’s Exclusive sources report. He is deep in preparations for launching his election campaign Thursday August 15 and plans to keep it short. Untroubled by criticism from the United States and Europe, he plans to restore the Egyptian army to political center stage in Cairo and keep the democratic process under control. Like former presidents Gemal Abdel Nasser, Anwar Sadat and Hosni Mubarak, the defense minister will repress the Muslim Brotherhood he unseated on July 3 before cutting a deal with its leaders to permit them a restricted measure of political activity.
Tuesday July 30, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel phoned Gen. El-Sisi and, according to the official statement issued in Washington, talked about this week’s visit to Cairo by European Union Foreign Policy Coordinator Catherine Ashton and her two-hour conversation with deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi.
This dry communiqué omitted to reflect the attempts by Hagel and Ashton to twist the Egyptian general’s arm intor releasing Morsi from detention and re-integrating the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt’s national politics.
Hagel specifically pressed him to bring Muslim Brotherhood members into the interim government and give them free rein to run candidates for parliament in early 2014.