PM joins gathering for military appreciation

Prime Minister Essam Sharaf joined hundreds of demonstrators in front of the Unknown Soldier Memorial in Nasr City Friday at a gathering to express appreciation for the Egyptian military.

Sharaf said that he participated in the protest to express the importance of the role of the armed forces.

Sharaf wrote on his Twitter account "The army and the people are one hand", a popular slogan of the revolution.

The prime minister tried to take the podium to address people, but couldn't reach it because of the dense crowd.

Mazhar Shahin, the imam of Omar Makram Mosque delivered Friday prayers and talked about his gratefulness to the armed forces for protecting the revolution and the Egyptian people.

"The people are the body and the army is the soul and blood which keep this nation alive. We are here today to let those who want to spread sedition between the army and the people know that we are one," said Shahin, adding that the events in neighboring countries show that Egypt has a dedicated, patriotic army.

"We cannot forgive those who killed protesters and who committed crimes against the Egyptian people," said Shahin.

Concerning protests in Qena against a Coptic governor with ties to Mubarak's regime, Shahin said that Islam does not differentiate between a Muslim and a Christian.

Counselor Zakariya Abdel Aziz delivered a speech thanking the armed forces and calling on laborers who continue protesting to designate a representative to discuss their demands with the ruling military council.

General Saeed Abbas also gave a speech thanking the Egyptian people who helped the army in October 1973.

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