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Carter: Egyptian military wants to stay in control

Former US President Jimmy Carter said Thursday that he believes the Egyptian military hopes to hold on to as much control over the country for as long as it can. (SOUNDBITE)(English) FORMER US PRESIDENT, JIMMY CARTER, SAYING: "My guess is that the military would like to retain as much control as possible for as long as possible, still accepting the results of the revolution and the election process that's underway." In an interview with Reuters he said political parties like the Muslim Brotherhood might allow the military to retain power for a limited period of time. (SOUNDBITE)(English) FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT, JIMMY CARTER, SAYING: "But when I've talked to the Muslim Brotherhood and others, they contemplate a period of, extending beyond the end of June, where the military might have some special privileges. But they should be terminated at the end of a certain period and the permanent limits on the military should be expressed in the constitution to be written in the next two or three months." Forty so-called 'witnesses' from the Carter Center have been deployed in Egypt since November, throughout the course of its three stage parliamentary election process. While some have predicted that a Muslim Brotherhood led government may clash with the United States, Carter said the only potential area of disagreement, was the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. (SOUNDBITE)(English) FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT, JIMMY CARTER, SAYING: "There is one fact of potential contention with the United States, and that is that this new government will probably be much more concerned with the rights of the Palestinians than have the previous rulers or leaders in Egypt. But in my opinion that will be conducive to a better prospect for peace between Israel and its neighbors." The former US President and Nobel Peace Prize laureate will hold a press conference Friday when The Carter Center releases its preliminary findings on Egypt's Parliamentary elections. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters

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