RECOMMENDED READING: “International Opinion Divided Over Toppling Of Mursi”


The UK-based Saudi newspaper Asharq Al-awsat has published a useful round up of international governmental reaction to the military overthrow of former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi. The report begins:

July 5, 2013 London, Asharq Al-Awsat—The downfall of Egypt’s President Mohamed Mursi at the hands of millions of protestors and the country’s armed forces has provoked mixed reactions abroad.

Within the Arab world, the monarchs of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, two states that have sparred with the Muslim Brotherhood, the group from which Mursi originally hailed and from which he drew much of his support, were both quick to welcome his departure.

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia offered his congratulations to Adli Mansour, the former chief of Egypt’s supreme court, who was sworn in as interim president on Thursday. In a cable to Mansour, the Saudi monarch praised the Egyptian army, saying it had ‘managed to save Egypt at this critical moment from a dark tunnel, [of which]only God could apprehend its dimensions and repercussions.’

The president of the UAE, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, also sent a congratulatory cable to Mansour. The UAE’s state news agency, WAM, reported that he said: ‘We have followed with appreciation and satisfaction the national consensus that has been seen in your sisterly country, which played a prominent role in enabling Egypt to get out of its crisis in a peaceful way, preserving its institutions, embodying the ancient civilization of Egypt and enhancing its Arab and international role.’

The UAE’s foreign minister, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan, paid tribute to Egypt’s army for its role in ensuring Mursi’s downfall, according to the WAM. ‘Sheikh Abdullah said that the great Egyptian army was able to prove again that they are the fence of Egypt and that they are the protector and strong shield that guarantee Egypt will remain a state of institutions and law,’ a report from agency said.

In contrast, Qatar, which offered billions of dollars of financial aid to Mursi’s government and has maintained closer links with the Muslim Brotherhood, was relatively more restrained in its welcome of Egypt’s new rulers. In a statement carried by Qatar-based satellite channel Al-Jazeera, a foreign ministry official said: ‘Qatar supports the will of the Egyptian people and views Egypt as a leader in the Arab and Islamic world . . . Qatar will continue to respect the will of Egypt and its people across the [political]spectrum.’

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