Middle East/North Africa

Defiant Morsi says he’s not going anywhere, is ‘willing to shed my blood’

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi delivered a defiant speech in the early morning hours of Wednesday during which he said he would not step down even as millions of protesters continue to fill the streets calling for his ouster.

Morsi called himself the “guardian of legitimacy” following his election last year and said he was ready to sacrifice himself just hours before the military’s 48-hour ultimatum for a political settlement expires. He blamed remnants of the Mubarak regime for the political crisis that has paralyzed the country.

“If the price against safeguarding legitimacy is my blood, then I am willing to shed my blood,” Morsi said according to an English translation shown on al Jazeera.

{mosads}Morsi said there was no “substitute” for his legitimacy but said he was open to “dialogue” with the opposition to his Muslim Brotherhood government. He called on Egyptians to refrain from insulting the military, which has said it would intervene to unblock the political crisis paralyzing the country but has vowed not to launch a coup.

President Obama talked to Morsi on Tuesday and urged him to be “responsive” to the protesters’ demands.

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