Brothers appeal for army’s help to restore order in Egypt
CAIRO - Egypt's cabinet on Monday approved a draft law that would allow President Mohamed Morsi to deploy the armed forces on the streets "to participate with the police in preserving security and protecting vital establishments."
The law, which has to be ratified by the Islamist-dominated upper house of parliament, would apply until after the next legislative elections and be invoked whenever the president deems it necessary, state news agency MENA said.
It would also give the defence minister the power to determine the location of the deployment, the troops required as well as define their missions, MENA said.
Meanwhile, Egypt's main opposition group rejected as "empty of content" a call by President Mohamed Morsi for dialogue, as the country plunged deeper into crisis following days of deadly rioting.
"We will not participate in dialogue that is empty of content," leading dissident Mohamed ElBaradei told reporters after a meeting of the National Salvation Front which groups several mainly liberal and leftist movements.
The NSF said Morsi needed to agree to a list of demands it laid out last week, including the formation of a national salvation government and the amendment of the Islamist-drafted constitution, before it agrees to any talks.
"We are in complete agreement at the Front. We have to solve the roots of the problems, not the symptoms. The solution is not a security one, it is political.
"We will not join a dialogue with no agenda just to project an image of talks," ElBaradei said.
Former presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi, who also spoke at the news conference, said Morsi had to accept responsibility for the bloodshed that has swept the country.
"We aspire to a dialogue, but there are no guarantees that this dialogue will be a success... while blood is being spilled," said Sabbahi.
On Sunday, Morsi declared a month-long state of emergency in the provinces of Port Said, Suez and Ismailiya after they were hit by deadly riots in which nearly 50 people were killed.
He also slapped the three provinces with night-time curfews, while calling the opposition -- which accuses him of betraying the revolution that brought him to power -- to a national dialogue at the presidential palace.