Egypt Prez ordered Tantawi to retire for ‘benefit of nation’

Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi headed the military council that ruled Egypt for 17 months after the 2011 ouster of Hosni Mubarak.

Updated: Aug 13, 2012, 11:14 AM IST

Cairo: Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi has said that he ordered the retirement of the powerful head of the country`s armed forces, Field Marshal Mohamad Hussein Tantawi, for the ‘benefit of the nation’.

Mursi has also announced the retirement of Chief of staff Sami Annan.

“The decisions I took today (Sunday) were not meant ever to target certain persons, nor did I intend to embarrass institutions, nor was my aim to narrow freedoms,” the BBC quoted Mursi, as saying.

“I did not mean to send a negative message about anyone, but my aim was the benefit of this nation and its people,” he added.

Mursi also said a constitutional declaration aimed at curbing presidential powers had been cancelled.

According to the report, he also praised the armed forces, saying they would now focus ‘on the holy mission of protecting the nation’.

Field Marshal Tantawi, 76, has not yet indicated whether he accepts the moves.