World reacts to removal from power of Egyptian president
Reaction varies from ‘concern’ to ‘satisfaction’
Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi shout slogans in front of riot police and Egypt’s Constitutional Court during the swearing in ceremony today of the head of the court Adli Mansour as the nation’s interim president. Photograph: Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters
Riot police stand with their shields at the ready as members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi protest in front of Egypt’s Constitutional Court. Photograph: Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters
The European Union said today it had no plans to reconsider its aid programmes to Egypt after the army ousted president Mohamed Morsi, but EU sources said the aid hinged on its progress in moving towards democracy.
Egypt’s military removed Mr Morsi yesterday after mass protests against his one-year rule. The head of Egypt’s Constitutional Court, Adli Mansour, was sworn in today as the interim head of state.
“I am not aware of any urgent plans to rethink our aid programmes at the moment but... the dust is still settling on what happened last night,” Michael Mann, a spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, told reporters.
Earlier this year, the EU offered a maximum of €5 billion in grants and loans to Egypt over a two-year period, but the money is tied to progress on reforms and a democratic transition.
Mr Mann avoided repeated questions on whether the EU considered what had happened in Egypt to be a military coup.
“The most important thing is that all parties in Egypt stay calm, begin a dialogue and above all else return to the democratic process as soon as possible,” he said.
World leaders reacted with concern, calling for restraint and a peaceful transition while some expressed disappointment in his leadership.
“We are deeply concerned by the decision of the Egyptian Armed Forces, ” president Barack Obama said in a statement in Washington. “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, and to avoid any arbitrary arrests of president Morsi and his supporters.”
The UK “does not support military intervention as a way to resolve disputes in a democratic system,” British foreign secretary William Hague said in statement.
“We call on all parties to show the leadership and vision needed to restore and renew Egypt’s democratic transition.”
Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd told reporters in Canberra that “the expectation of the international community” was to see a “return to full democratic government in Egypt as rapidly as possible.”
German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle said Mr Morsi’s removal was “a severe setback for democracy.”
Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Gehad El-Haddad said Mr Morsi’s removal from power by the military was a test for world leaders.
“Are you going to stick with democracy and support it or are you going to back and legitimise a military coup that just ousted the first ever democratically elected president of Egypt,” he said in an interview on Bloomberg Television.
Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the army’s overthrow of Mr Morsi was a “military coup”, and “unacceptable”.
“The removal of president Mohamed Morsi, who came to power through a democratic election, by the intervention of the Egyptian army is an extremely worrying situation,” Mr Davutoglu told reporters in Istanbul.
“Leaders who come to power with open and transparent elections reflecting the will of the people can only be removed by elections, that is, the will of the nation,” he said.
“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.”