RELIGION

Egypt leader urges people to defend state ahead of protests

FILE - In this Friday, April 15, 2016 file photo, Egyptians shout slogans against Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi during a protest against the decision to hand over control of two strategic Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia in front of the Press Syndicate, in Cairo, Egypt. Egyptian security forces have rounded up dozens of activists, journalists, and lawyers ahead of demonstrations called for April 25 against President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi's policies, including the transfer of two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia, lawyers and witnesses said Friday, April 22. 2016. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File)

FILE - In this Friday, April 15, 2016 file photo, Egyptians shout slogans against Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi during a protest against the decision to hand over control of two strategic Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia in front of the Press Syndicate, in Cairo, Egypt. Egyptian security forces have rounded up dozens of activists, journalists, and lawyers ahead of demonstrations called for April 25 against President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi's policies, including the transfer of two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia, lawyers and witnesses said Friday, April 22. 2016. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File)  (The Associated Press)

Egypt's president is urging people to defend the state and its institutions from "the forces of evil" a day before planned demonstrations against his policies, including the transfer of two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia.

In a widely televised speech Sunday, President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi insisted on the need for stability in the Arab world's most populous country, saying that attempts to degrade it "won't be successful" if Egypt stands united.

Earlier this month, thousands marched against el-Sissi's policies in the largest demonstrations since he assumed office in 2014. The protests featured slogans used in the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime leader Hosni Mubarak.

The protesters, including politicians and activists, called for more demonstrations on Monday.