News / Africa

Regional Reaction Mixed For Egypt Protests

Saudi King Abdullah (file photo)
Saudi King Abdullah (file photo)

The mass protests against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak are drawing mixed reactions in the region.

In Iran, a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry called on Egyptian authorities to follow what he called the "rightful demands" of the people and avoid any violence against them. The spokesman, Ramin Mehmanparast, said Saturday that the Egyptian protests are based in Islam and aimed at gaining justice. He made no reference to the Iranian government's crackdowns on opposition.

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah criticized the protesters and expressed support for Mr. Mubarak. The state-run Saudi Press Agency quoted King Abdullah calling the organizers of the demonstrations "infiltrators" and accusing them of trying to destabilize Egypt in the name of freedom of expression. The report said the Saudi king made the comments in a phone call to the Egyptian president.

Both Saudi Arabia and Egypt are key allies of the United States, which has called on President Mubarak to fulfill his promises of reform and refrain from violence against the demonstrators.

Israel, another key U.S. ally in the region, was said to be monitoring the situation in Egypt, although its officials are not making public statements.

News reports highlighted concerns that the unrest could threaten Israel's ties with Egypt, which has played a major role as a regional mediator between Israel and the Palestinians.

The Israeli reports say if Egypt's opposition Muslim Brotherhood were to gain power in the turmoil, that could strengthen militant group Hamas, the brotherhood's Palestinian offshoot in the Gaza Strip. Hamas draws its support from Iran, Syria and the Lebanese-based Hezbollah, while the rival Palestinian Authority and its president, Mahmoud Abbas, receive support from the West.

The African Union also expressed concern about Egypt's political unrest. The French news agency, AFP, quoted the head of the AU commission, Jean Ping, as saying the situation is "worrying" after protests in Tunisia.

View the slide show of anti-government protests in Egypt

 

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

NEW: Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that was eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports on how one band is bringing Yiddish tango to Los Angeles.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid