The Wall Street Journal's Matt Bradley reported that a speech from Morsi was broadcast in Rab'a al Adawiya Square, but no one is covering it in the country. In the speech, Morsi asked Egyptians not to fight because "it would really hurt" him "if anyone died." He also said that the revolution has been stolen.
In a taped statement that aired late Wednesday on Al Jazeera, Morsi said that he is still Egypt's legitimate president and that he is open to negotiate.
The deadline that the Egyptian military gave Morsi to solve the political crisis in the country passed Wednesday morning. Egyptian soldiers and tanks took to the streets and surrounded the presidential palace where Morsi supporters have gathered. Before the announcement, a Muslim Brotherhood spokesman warned that the military has taken over.
The political roadmap was organized by the head of Egypt's Coptic Church, opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei and other civilian and military leaders. Earlier Wednesday, Sisi met with ElBaradei and religious leaders to discuss how the country can move forward, AFP reported.
"I hope that this "¦ roadmap, this plan, is a beginning for a new beginning to continue with the May 25th revolution through which the Egyptian people had to spend dearly to achieve what all of us want, social justice for every Egyptian man and woman," ElBaradei said after the military's announcement.
Military and opposition leaders are being extremely careful to avoid the impression that this was a military coup, in part because if it was there are legal implications with the U.S. and foreign aid. Putting ElBaradei out front is an obvious means of doing this.
Reaction from the U.S.
The White House released a statement from President OBama just before 7 p.m. EST. The meeting came after extended meetings between the president and his national security staff. Most notably, the statement does not include the word "coup." Here is the statement in full:
As I have said since the Egyptian Revolution, the United States supports a set of core principles, including opposition to violence, protection of universal human rights, and reform that meets the legitimate aspirations of the people. The United States does not support particular individuals or political parties, but we are committed to the democratic process and respect for the rule of law. Since the current unrest in Egypt began, we have called on all parties to work together to address the legitimate grievances of the Egyptian people, in accordance with the democratic process, and without recourse to violence or the use of force.
The United States is monitoring the very fluid situation in Egypt, and we believe that ultimately the future of Egypt can only be determined by the Egyptian people. Nevertheless, we are deeply concerned by the decision of the Egyptian Armed Forces to remove President Morsy and suspend the Egyptian constitution. I now call on the Egyptian military to move quickly and responsibly to return full authority back to a democratically elected civilian government as soon as possible through an inclusive and transparent process, and to avoid any arbitrary arrests of President Morsy and his supporters. Given today's developments, I have also directed the relevant departments and agencies to review the implications under U.S. law for our assistance to the Government of Egypt.
The United States continues to believe firmly that the best foundation for lasting stability in Egypt is a democratic political order with participation from all sides and all political parties — secular and religious, civilian and military. During this uncertain period, we expect the military to ensure that the rights of all Egyptian men and women are protected, including the right to peaceful assembly, due process, and free and fair trials in civilian courts. Moreover, the goal of any political process should be a government that respects the rights of all people, majority and minority; that institutionalizes the checks and balances upon which democracy depends; and that places the interests of the people above party or faction. The voices of all those who have protested peacefully must be heard "“ including those who welcomed today's developments, and those who have supported President Morsy. In the interim, I urge all sides to avoid violence and come together to ensure the lasting restoration of Egypt's democracy.
No transition to democracy comes without difficulty, but in the end it must stay true to the will of the people. An honest, capable and representative government is what ordinary Egyptians seek and what they deserve. The longstanding partnership between the United States and Egypt is based on shared interests and values, and we will continue to work with the Egyptian people to ensure that Egypt's transition to democracy succeeds.
Earlier in the day, the U.S. would not confirm whether there had been in a coup in Egypt. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki earlier said officials have been in contact with all factions involved in the political crisis in recent days.