Egypt’s Turmoil: How the World Is Reacting to the Bloodshed

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Hassan Ammar / AP

Egyptian army soldiers take their positions on top and next to their armored vehicles while guarding an entrance to Tahrir square, in Cairo, Aug. 16, 2013.

U.S. President Barack Obama Thursday joined a chorus of world leaders in condemning the Egyptian government for its violent response Wednesday to opposition protesters that left at least 638 people and more than 4,000 injured. Tens of thousands of Muslim Brotherhood supporters took to the streets today in defiance of a military-imposed state of emergency. According to some reports, at least 26 people have been killed in clashes in Cairo, while tensions have led to violence elsewhere in the country as well. The military’s crackdown — which follows its ousting of the democratically-elected government one month ago — has led to angry condemnations from much of the international community.


Canada closed its embassy in Cairo for security reasons and summoned an Egyptian envoy to declare its concern over the violence.

European Union

E.U. diplomats will meet Monday to consider the response to the Egyptian government’s crackdown. Catherine Ashton, who leads EU foreign policy, “strongly condemned” the violence. Britain, Germany, and France summoned the Egyptian ambassadors to condemn the violence.

Britain has expressed “deep concern” over the violence. Prime Minister David Cameron also expressed his condolences for Sky News journalist Mick Deane, who was killed while reporting on the clashes. “It is an incredibly brave and important job he was doing,” Cameron said.

Denmark suspended $5.3 million in aid that was connected to two projects with the Egyptian government.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said there will be “consequences” to the violent crackdown, but has yet to go into detail.

French President Francois Hollande called for the state of emergency to be lifted and expressed “very serious concern” about the violence.


A financial backer of the former Muslim Brotherhood government that was removed by the military, Qatar issued a strong condemnation of the violence and warned Wednesday against “tearing apart the ranks of the brotherly Egyptian people as it is difficult to account for the results of these clashes and their future outcomes


Tunisia’s ruling Islamist government, eyeing events in Egypt closely over the last two months given the mounting opposition at home, called on the Muslim Brotherhood to respond with peaceful protests.

“The Tunisian candle is the only candle left in the Arab Spring, and this is entrusted to all of us Tunisians to preserve it and to prove that Arabs can have democracy, and Tunisia is a witness”


A major supporter of the former Muslim Brotherhood government, Turkey has lashed out at the Egyptian authorities. Both countries have withdrawn their ambassadors from their respective capitals.

President Abdullah Gul Friday called the violence a “shame for Islam and the Arab world,” and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called for Egypt’s current interim leadership to stand trial.

United Nations

The U.N. Security Council urged restraint on both sides following an emergency meeting to discuss a response on the violence in Egypt.

“There was a common desire on the need to stop violence and to advance national reconciliation,” said Argentine U.N. Ambassador Maria Cristina Perceval, council president for August.

United States

President Barack Obama condemned the violence and said the United States will not take part in Operation Bright Star, a biennial training exercise jointly conducted with the Egyptian military. The State Department issued a travel warning urging U.S. citizens living in Egypt to leave.

“The United States strongly condemns the steps that have been taken by Egypt’s interim government and security forces,” he said.

Saudi Arabia

One of the few voices of support for the Egyptian government, Saudi King Abdullah called for Arabs to stand together against “attempts to destabilize” the country.

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, its people and government stood and stands by today with its brothers in Egypt against terrorism,” he said