News / Middle East

Gulf Arabs Greet Egypt's New Leader, Turkey Slams 'Coup'

Adly Mansour (C), Egypt's chief justice and head of the Supreme Constitutional Court, speaks at his swearing in ceremony as the nation's interim president in Cairo, July 4, 2013, a day after the army ousted Mohamed Morsi as head of state.
Adly Mansour (C), Egypt's chief justice and head of the Supreme Constitutional Court, speaks at his swearing in ceremony as the nation's interim president in Cairo, July 4, 2013, a day after the army ousted Mohamed Morsi as head of state.
Reuters
Gulf Arab states welcomed Egypt's interim leader on Thursday, hopeful his appointment would stem the rise of Islamists in the Middle East, but the military overthrow of an elected president drew a guarded response from Iran and condemnation from Turkey.
    
The United States expressed concern at the ouster of Mohamed Morsi on Wednesday and called for a swift return to democracy, as did the European Union. But they stopped short of calling it a coup, which might have led to sanctions.
    
The 54-nation African Union was likely to suspend Egypt for allowing "unconstitutional change", a senior AU source told Reuters.
    
For Gulf Arab states, which see Egypt as a strategic ally against any threat from non-Arab Iran across the Gulf, the appointment of constitutional court chief Adly Mansour as interim leader was met with congratulations and evident relief.
    
"We followed with all consideration and satisfaction the national consensus that your brotherly country is witnessing, and which had played a prominent role in leading Egypt peacefully out of the crisis it had faced," said the president of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan.
    
Kuwait's ruler, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, was quoted as praising Egypt's armed forces for the "positive and historic role" they played in preserving stability.
    
'Critical period'
    
Saudi King Abdullah sent a message of congratulations on Wednesday "in this critical period of... history", and Qatar, the only Gulf Arab state that backed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood, welcomed the new leader on Thursday.
    
The official Qatar news agency reported that cables of congratulation had been sent to Mansour by Qatar's new emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.
    
Qatar has been a major financier of Islamist groups around the Arab World and had provided billions of dollars in aid to Egypt since the 2011 revolution that ended the autocratic rule of Hosni Mubarak.
    
Iran, which sought to repair its strained ties with Egypt after Morsi's election a year ago, gave a guarded response, calling for the people's "legitimate demands" to be fulfilled and warning of "foreign and enemy opportunism".
    
Morsi visited Tehran on one of his first official trips abroad, but the two countries have found themselves supporting opposite sides of a civil war in Syria that has taken on increasingly sectarian overtones.
    
"Certainly the resistant nation of Egypt will protect its independence and greatness from foreign and enemy opportunism during the difficult conditions that follow," Fars news agency quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Araqchi as saying.
    
Syria, fighting to crush a two-year-old uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, urged Morsi to step down on Wednesday and realize "that the overwhelming majority of the Egyptian people reject him," Information Minister Omran Zoabi was quoted as saying by state news agency SANA.
    
Neighboring Israel avoided any show of satisfaction over Morsi's ouster, although a confidant of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed hope Mansour's appointment would lead to the restoration of largely frozen contacts with Cairo.
    
`Yesterday's events strengthen the feeling that perhaps we have passed the bad period and perhaps now there will be a chance to have diplomatic ties with whomever will govern Egypt in the near future," Tzachi Hanegbi told Army Radio.

  • A supporter of former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi chants slogans during a rally near Cairo University after Friday prayers in Cairo, Egypt, July 5, 2013. 
  • Opponents of Egypt's ousted president Mohammed Morsi wave national flags and posters showing Lt. Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi in Tahrir Square, Cairo, July 5, 2013. 
  • Palestinian Hamas security guard stands near an Egyptian watch tower on the border with Egypt in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, July 5, 2013. An Egyptian official said the country's border crossing with Gaza Strip in northern Sinai has been closed indefinitely.
  • Protesters, who support former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, perform Friday prayers near Cairo University in Cairo, July 5, 2013. 
  • A supporter of former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi holds up a copy of the Koran as she and others march near Cairo University after Friday prayers in Cairo, July 5, 2013. 
  • A supporter of ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi cries during a protest near the University of Cairo, Giza, July 5, 2013.
  • Adly Mansour gestures at his swearing in ceremony as the nation's interim president in Cairo, July 4, 2013.
  • This image made from Egyptian State Television shows Egypt's interim president Adly Mansour, center, standing with judges during a swearing in ceremony at the constitutional court in Cairo, July 4, 2013.
  • Supporters of Egypt's ousted president Mohammed Morsi show victory signs during a rally, in Nasser City, Cairo, July 4, 2013.
  • An Egyptian Army commander talks to citizens while securing the area near Cairo University, where Muslim Brotherhood supporters gathered to support ousted president Mohammed Morsi in Cairo, July 4, 2013.
  • Egyptians celebrate after Egypt's chief justice Adly Mansour is sworn in as the nation's interim president, July 4, 2013. Arabic reads, " bye bye Morsi."
  • Egyptian military jets fly over Cairo as the head of Egypt's constitutional court Adly Mansour was sworn in as interim head of state, July 4, 2013.
  • Opponents of Egypt's ousted president Mohamed Morsi celebrate outside the presidential palace in Cairo, July 3, 2013.
  • Fireworks light the sky moments after Egypt's military chief said the president was being replaced by the chief justice of the constitutional court, Cairo, July 3, 2013.
  • Morsi supporters react after the Egyptian army's statement was read out on state TV, at the Raba El-Adwyia mosque square in Cairo, July 3, 2013.
  
'Illicit means'
    
Straddling the Middle East and Europe, Turkey was harshly critical of Egypt's army, saying its overthrow of Morsi was "unacceptable" - a marked difference from its would-be partners in the European Union, which avoided repeated questions on whether it was a military coup.
    
"It is unacceptable for a government that has come to power through democratic elections to be toppled through illicit means and, even more, a military coup," Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told reporters in Istanbul.
    
Turkey has a history of military coups and is run by a government with Islamist roots which has faced weeks of often violent protests.
    
Some Western countries were concerned about the overthrow. 

"The dismissal of the democratically elected President Morsi by the military is very questionable. Military intervention as a way to resolve conflicts in a democratic system is not acceptable," Austrian Deputy Chancellor and Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger said in a statement.
    
NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said he was gravely concerned.
    
U.S. President Barack Obama stopped short of condemning the move. "I now call 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," he said in a statement.

You May Like

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

Audio 'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs