Egyptian riot police stand guard in front of the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012. Thousands of opponents and supporters of Egypt's Islamist president were flocking to key locations in the nation's capital ahead of rival mass rallies Tuesday, four days before a nationwide referendum on a contentious draft constitution. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
CAIRO (AP) — Egypt's official news agency is quoting an armed forces spokesman who is denying that the defense minister has invited politicians to hold talks on how to resolve the nation's worsening political crisis.
The brief MENA report Tuesday did not name the military spokesman.
Earlier, the news agency reported that Defense Minister Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi had called for a national dialogue on Wednesday, three days ahead of a referendum on the draft constitution that is at the heart of the crisis.
Egypt's powerful military warned earlier this week of disastrous consequences if the dispute over the draft constitution is not resolved.
The crisis has triggered mass protests by both pro- and anti-Morsi demonstrators, plunging the country into the worst turmoil since Morsi took power in June.