by Staff Writers
Baghdad (AFP) Aug 18, 2013
Iraq's premier backed the Egyptian military crackdown on supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi in a statement Sunday, the latest Arab leader to back the operation.
Nuri al-Maliki appealed for "self-restraint" but said Baghdad stood with the Egyptian government, describing its moves against the Muslim Brotherhood as efforts to impose law and order.
"We stand strongly with the Egyptian government in its steps to impose the rule of law and install security and peace across all of Egypt," the Iraqi prime minister said in a statement on his website.
Maliki said the ongoing violence in Egypt, which has killed more than 750 people in four days, was the result of a "conspiracy targeting the desires of the Egyptian people".
He also called for "maximum self-restraint" and appealed for the country's political groups to take part in dialogue in order "to avoid sectarian divisions".
Arab countries have openly backed the crackdown, with analysts saying most of their leaders tacitly support Egypt's deadly moves as they fear the Brotherhood's growing regional influence since the Arab Spring.
Egypt's army, directly or indirectly in power since 1952, ousted Morsi as president in a popularly backed July 3 coup and installed an interim civilian government in its place.
Morsi's supporters set up protest camps in Cairo and promised to stay put until the former leader, now in custody, was reinstated.
The government ordered them to disperse and, after a number of delays, police backed by troops stormed the camps on Wednesday.
The death toll from ensuing clashes, in the capital and across Egypt, has topped 750 people.
Foreign minister says Egypt still on path to democracy
Fahmy, a former ambassador to the United States, told German news weekly Der Spiegel that Egypt's military leaders were unlikely to extend a month-long nationwide state of emergency imposed last week.
"I assure our friends that we are maintaining our roadmap to democracy," he said.
He said Egyptians "would not accept the country staying under the now-imposed state of emergency in the long run."
And he said the Muslim Brotherhood backers of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi were welcome to a dialogue on Egypt's political future "as soon as calm and order have been restored".
"Those who have not broken the law can take part in the political process," he said.
Fahmy chided Western allies for their sharp criticism of government force against pro-Morsi demonstrators, which has left hundreds dead.
"I am disappointed that the violence by the other side has not been more clearly recognised and condemned by the West," he said.
He discouraged direct intervention in the conflict by the United States or the European Union.
"This is an Egyptian problem that we must solve," he said.
"I trust the military, I am sure that the officers are not fixated on power."
The death toll in four days of violence topped 750 in Egypt in clashes following massive operations by the army-led government against Morsi supporters.
The bloodshed has shocked the international community, with European Union leaders Herman Van Rompuy and Jose Manuel Barroso warning Sunday that the bloc would review its ties with the country unless it ended.
Democracy in the 21st century at TerraDaily.com
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