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Reactions to developments in Egypt

Saturday - 8/17/2013, 5:32pm  ET

Indonesian Muslims stage a rally calling for an end to the violence used against the supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi in Egypt, in Jakarta, Indonesia, Friday, Aug. 16, 2013. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)

The Associated Press

Reactions on Friday around the world to developments in Egypt following clashes in which hundreds of people were killed and thousands injured:


European leaders spoke Friday about the need for a coordinated EU response to the violence in Egypt and agreed there should be a meeting of the European Union's foreign ministers next week. French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for an end to violence and a resumption of dialogue in Egypt. The German government statement said Merkel told Hollande that Germany, one of Egypt's biggest trading partners, would "re-evaluate" its relations with Cairo in light of this week's bloodshed. Hollande also discussed the violence with Italian Premier Enrico Letta and British Prime Minister David Cameron.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on French television that no options would be off the table at the foreign ministers' meeting, including a possible suspension of aid. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton called the deaths in Egypt "shocking."



Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah voiced support for Egypt's military-backed interim government, saying the kingdom stands by the country in its fight against "terrorism and strife" -- an apparent reference to deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood movement. In a televised statement, Abdullah called for honest people and intellectuals "to stand firmly against all those who try to shake the stability of a country that has always led the Arab and Islamic worlds."



Turkish officials kept up their criticism of the military government's crackdown, with President Abdullah Gul saying that "all that happened in Egypt is a shame for Islam and the Arab world." Turkey and Egypt recalled their ambassadors for consultations late Thursday as their relationship worsened.



About 1,500 people flooded the main avenue in central Tunis, many of them pouring out of the capital's most important mosque. They gathered in a large square in front of the municipal theater, shouting support for the Egyptian people, especially supporters of Morsi, and condemning the Egyptian military and the U.S. The hour-long protest was peaceful.



Kuwait said it supported Egyptian government measures to secure the nation as about 100 protesters angry over Egypt breaking up protest camps demonstrated outside the U.S. Embassy.

A Foreign Minister official, quoted Friday by the state-run Kuwait News Agency, called on parties to reconcile and stop the country from being dragged into "complete chaos." The official said the government must start a serious dialogue with protesters, while also expressing his condolences for those killed.



The Foreign Ministry urged its citizens to refrain from traveling to Egypt, extending a previous warning to include Red Sea beach resorts around Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheik. Germans who are already in beach resorts were advised to be vigilant and stay in close touch with hotel management and travel agents. The German Travel Association said most Germany travel companies have cancelled all bookings to Egypt until Sept. 15.

The German government also announced it was suspending 25 million euros in aid to Egypt for climate and environmental protection projects. Funding for new development projects will not be approved for the time being, Development Minister Dirk Niebel said.



Fabius, the foreign minister, said he raised its alert level for Egypt on Friday, "formally discouraging" French people from traveling to the country. He said that meant, for example, that tour operators would no longer bring tourists to the country. He also encouraged French people already in Egypt to avoid big cities. He said the country wasn't far off from civil war: "It's in chaos."



Italy's Foreign Ministry expanded its travel advisory to discourage citizens from traveling to all of Egypt, including the Red Sea and northern sea resorts. Foreign Minister Emma Bonino said the "brutal and unacceptable" use of force by Egypt's interim authorities presents a "worrying picture of violation of human rights." Bonino also said the Muslim Brotherhood must act firmly to stop "the extremist and sectarian drifts and to calm down the use of violence."



The Foreign Ministry warned against all travel to Egypt, saying there was a risk that the violent clashes between government forces and protesters "will spread throughout the country." The ministry advised Swiss citizens already in Egypt to keep informed, obey curfews and stay away from crowds or "events of all kinds."



Spain's Foreign Ministry said it summoned the Egyptian Embassy's charge d'affaires, because the ambassador was absent, to urge Egypt to revoke the state of emergency and rein in its security forces. The priorities of the transitional government in Cairo should be to avoid more bloodshed and respect human rights, the ministry said in a statement. It said all sides should be included in "a broad national and inclusive dialogue" to restore institutional normality.

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