Today in Egypt: Military Government Honors Peace Treaties; Protesters Rally for Civilian Rule

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A protester still in Cairo makes a victory slash peace sign. Photo: CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images

• The Armed Forces Supreme Council, in charge of Egypt since the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak, today said it was committed to a democratic process resulting in "civilian rule," but the military council urged respect for the police forces that had clashed with protesters in the early days of the uprising. In an announcement broadcast on state television, an army spokesman said that Egypt would continue to abide by all its international and regional treaties, including the peace treaty Egypt signed with Israel in 1979. He also said that the current leadership would manage the country’s affairs only until the formation of a new government. However, he did not lay out any timetable for any transfer of power. [NYT, CNN]

Despite the government's reassurance that civilian rule is on its way, thousands of Egyptians were in a "still electric" Tahrir Square today, vowing to stay there until "Egypt is ruled by a civil government, not a military one." [CNN]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the Egyptian military's intention to honor its peace treaty with Israel and said the agreement "is the cornerstone for peace and stability in the entire Middle East." [This Just In/CNN]

Switzerland's government moved Friday to freeze any assets in the country's banks that might belong to former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak or his family. [CNN]

Demonstrators, inspired by protests in Egypt, protested in Algeria’s capital today before security forces moved in to break up the demonstration. Demonstrators chanted “Bouteflika out!” in reference to President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who has ruled Algeria since 1999. Organizers said thousands had taken part. [NYT]

Mohammed Hussein Tantawi is the commander-in-chief of the Egyptian Armed Forces and, as head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, the de facto ruler of Egypt at the moment. Tantawi was only recently made deputy prime minister. Former President Hosni Mubarak appointed him to the position during the early days of the protest. One WikiLeaks cable said Tantawi is openly mocked at clubs in Cairo where midlevel officers gather. The cable claimed these officers mock him openly as "incompetent" and as "Mubarak's poodle." [CNN]