As the mainstream media shows endless scenes of celebration in Tahrir Square following last night's military ouster of democratically-elected President Morsi, the tensions with his supporters grows more widespread. Perhaps, what is more worrisome for the future of Egypt, which we noted last night was definitely on a path on instability
, is the reaction of world governments - from "deeply concerned" America to Turkey's "unacceptable" perspective to Saudi Arabia's "congratulations" and Russia's "democracy is not a panacea"
- it seems not everyone is behind the second coup in 3 years (but everyone is calling for calm as the middle-eastern turmoil ripples into their markets) but is a "setback for democracy
Via Al Arabiya,
Meanwhile, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday appealed for calm and restraint in Egypt. "Many Egyptians in their protests have voiced deep frustrations and legitimate concerns," he said in a statement, reported by Reuters,that did not condemn the Egyptian armed forces' ouster of Mursi. "At the same time, military interference in the affairs of any state is of concern
," he said. "Therefore, it will be crucial to quickly reinforce civilian rule in accordance with principles of democracy
In the Arab world, Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz congratulated the newly-appointed Egyptian interim President, Adly Mansour, on Wednesday. “In my own name and on behalf of the people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, I congratulate you on assuming the leadership of Egypt at this critical point of its history,”
said the king in a cable carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA). “By doing so, I appeal to Allah Almighty to help you to shoulder the responsibility laid on your shoulder to achieve the hopes of our sisterly people of the Arab Republic of Egypt.”
Meanwhile, in controversial remarks, a top lawmaker close to Russian President Vladimir Putin said Mursi’s ouster proves that democracy does not work in non-Western states. "The events in Egypt show that there is no quick and peaceful transition from authoritarian regimes to democratic politics," said Alexei Puskov, chairman of parliament's foreign affairs committee. "This means that democracy does not work as a panacea, especially in countries that are not part of the Western world,"
he told the Interfax news agency.
European Union I
EU officials said they had no plans to reconsider foreign aid to Egypt. "I am not aware of any urgent plans to rethink our aid programs at the moment,"
Michael Mann, a spokesman for foreign policy chief Ashton, told reporters. "But the dust is still settling on what happened last night."
European Union II
European Union's chief diplomat, Catherine Ashton, urged all sides to return to the democratic process, "including the holding of free and fair presidential and parliamentary elections and the approval of a constitution, to be done in a fully inclusive manner, so as to permit the country to resume and complete its democratic transition." She added, "I hope that the new administration will be fully inclusive and reiterate the importance of ensuring full respect for fundamental rights, freedoms and the rule of law."
"Recalling our democratic transformation, accomplished without bloodshed, we appeal to the sides of the conflict in Egypt to continue the process of the country's democratization through negotiations and without resorting to acts of violence and military intervention
President Obama said Washington "is deeply concerned by the decision of the Egyptian Armed Forces to remove President Morsi and suspend the Egyptian constitution
." The president called "on the Egyptian military to move quickly and responsibly to return full authority back to a democratically elected civilian government as soon as possible through an inclusive and transparent process
, and to avoid any arbitrary arrests of President Morsi and his supporters."
The response from Turkey, where mass protests have targeted Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was even stronger, not least because Morsi had been a very close ally of Ankara. Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu described the military coup as "unacceptable." He said: "You can only be removed from duty through elections, that is, the will of the people. It is unacceptable for a government, which has come to power through democratic elections, to be toppled through illicit means and even more, a military coup,"
he told reporters.
The government in France said it has great hopes for the election that Egyptian military leaders have promised
, "so that the Egyptian people can freely choose their leaders and their future." However, the statement from French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius did not directly address Morsi's toppling.
Prime Minister David Cameron called on all parties to end the violence in Egypt, where nearly 50 people have been killed in clashes between Morsi supporters and opponents since Sunday. "It is not for this country to support any single group or party," he said in a statement. "What we should support is proper democratic processes and proper government by consent
Foreign Secretary William Hague also told the BBC: "We don't support military intervention as a way to resolve disputes in a democratic system
." "It's of course a dangerous precedent to do that, if one president can be deposed by the military, then of course another one can be in the future -- that's a dangerous thing."
[the coup] has been described as a "serious setback for democracy" by Germany
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said the country must return to constitutional order as quickly as possible. "I call on all those responsible in Egypt , to act calmly, to meet each other halfway and to seek ways out of this serious crisis of state together
and The Telegraph's Peter Osborne
notes six interesting points many should ponder...
Here are six points that strike me as indisputable about today’s events in Egypt
1. Mohammed Morsi is in custody this morning
, yet the only crime he has committed is being elected president of his country.
2. If you don't like a democratic government, you stick with it until the next election when you have a chance to throw it out. That is how democracy works.
3. There is no doubt this was a military coup. Attempts to claim otherwise are absurd.
4. Mohammed el Baradei (and the Coptic Church) have done himself great damage by backing the military intervention. Whatever form of government comes next will lack legitimacy because of the methods used today.
5. William Hague failure to condemn outright and wholeheartedly the military coup on the Today Programme today was a terrible mistake.
6. This is another democratically elected Islamist regime, like that of Algeria in 1991, which has not been given a chance. Today's events are disastrous for the relationship between the West and the Muslim world.