Cairo - Egyptian Defence Minister and military chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sissi warned on Tuesday that the political crisis rocking the country could lead to the collapse of the state.
Failure to resolve the situation "could lead to grave repercussions if the political forces do not act" to tackle it, Sissi said in comments posted on his Facebook page.
"The continuing conflict between political forces and their differences concerning the management of the country could lead to a collapse of the state and threaten future generations," Sissi said in the comments, which were extracts of a speech he gave to students at a military academy.
Sissi further warned that the political, economic, social and security problems facing Egypt constitute "a threat to the country's security and stability".
He stressed that "the attempts to undermine the stability of state institutions is a dangerous thing that harms national security and the future of the country", but stressed that "the army will remain strong ... as a pillar of the state's foundations."
Fifty-two people have died in five days of violence that erupted Thursday night in Egypt as the country marked the second anniversary of the start of the uprising that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak.
A curfew has been imposed in three provinces - Port Said, Ismailiya and Suez.
The bloodiest clashes and most of the deaths have occurred in Port Said, with rioting breaking out on Saturday after 21 supporters of a local football club were sentenced to death for their roles in a deadly football riot last year.