Growing chaos: World powers condemn Egypt bloodshed, as death toll rises to 525…(Wonder where it will be next?)

Thursday, August 15, 2013
By Paul Martin
August 15, 2013

CAIRO – Egypt’s military rulers on Thursday faced international condemnation over the bloody crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood protesters, with France warning of the threat of “civil war” and Turkey demanding UN action. At least 525 people were killed in Wednesday’s assaults on two Cairo protest camps of supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in the worst violence the country has seen in decades. The United States led global condemnations overnight against the “deplorable” violence, while Paris, London and Berlin have summoned Egypt’s ambassadors to voice their strong concern. Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for an urgent UN Security Council meeting over Egypt’s “massacre” of Morsi supporters. China was characteristically muted, calling for “maximum restraint” from all parties, while fellow security council permanent member Russia only urged tourists to avoid trips to Egypt. Only two Gulf States that have cracked down on Islamist groups within their own borders initially voiced support for the Cairo military leaders. French President Francois Hollande said “everything must be done to avoid a civil war” in Egypt, while his government conveyed France’s “great concern over the tragic events” to Egypt’s envoy. “France is committed to finding a political solution and calls for elections to be held as soon as possible, in line with the commitments made by Egypt’s transitional authorities,” said a statement. Germany also summoned the Egyptian ambassador, a day after its foreign minister Guido Westerwelle urged all sides to renounce violence and return immediately to negotiations. “On the orders of foreign minister Westerwelle, the ambassador was told the position of the German government in no uncertain terms,” said a foreign ministry spokeswoman. Turkey’s Erdogan, a Morsi supporter, told reporters in Ankara that “the security council of the United Nations should convene quickly to discuss the situation in Egypt. This is a very serious massacre …against the Egyptian people who were only protesting peacefully,” he added, criticizing “the silence” of the global community in the face of the bloodshed. The United States did not initially criticise the overthrow of Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically elected and Islamist leader, and has avoided using the term “coup,” which under US law would have halted some USD 1.3 billion in annual military aid to Cairo. –Times of India

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