The Head of Egypt's Military Council, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, sent a menacing message to countries in the region, saying that his country is ready for war.
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Tantawi did not mention Israel explicitly but stressed: "Peace is not assured, as when the interests contradict each other, there is a state that is weaker than the other and turns to attack, so we need to be ready to do battle."
Egyptian media on Wednesday were reporting from the military drill, which was held in the area between Cairo and Suez and included the use of live fire.
'Model for world'
As for next week's elections, Tantawi said "Egypt's elections will be a model for the world for the free and fair will of the people."
"I call on the Egyptian people to take up their national responsibility during the presidential elections to choose a president for Egypt," he said.
Voting starts on May 23 and 24 and the army has pledged to hand power to the new president by July 1. It insists it is not siding with any candidate.
But many Egyptians believe it will remain an influential player behind the scenes for years to come and may seek to influence the vote.
The two leading candidates held their first televised debate last week. Facing off for more than four hours in a show broadcast on two privately owned television networks, Amr Moussa and Abdel Moneim Abol Fotouh sought to trip each other up on questions ranging from their perspective on Islamic sharia law to their views on Israel. They repeatedly accused each other of distorting the facts.
Both pledged to review Egypt's 1979 peace treaty with Israel, a country Abol Fotouh described as an enemy and Moussa called an adversary.
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