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The United States is encouraging the Egyptian army to continue displaying “the restraint that they have shown,” after Cairo raised the possibility of military intervention in the protests.

“We respect the role the Egyptian military has played so far, and we would encourage them to continue to show … the restraint that they have shown in recent days,” State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said.

In Cairo, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit said on Wednesday that the army would be forced to intervene if anti-government protests push Egypt into chaos.

“We have to preserve the constitution, even if it is amended,” Abul Gheit told Al-Arabiya television, according to the MENA news agency.

“He warned that if chaos occurs, the armed forces will intervene to control the country, a step, he said, which would lead to a very dangerous situation,” the news agency said, paraphrasing the interview. 9msn

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