Avid Editor's Insights

Egypt warns west to stay out of Arab affairs

Posted by avideditor on January 17, 2011

The jihadis want us to stay out of it. Liberty and freedom are an evil western concept to them.From Egypt warns West to stay out of Arab affairs

CAIRO (AFP) — Egypt’s Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit warned Sunday the

West to stay out of Arab affairs, days after US Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton urged Arab leaders to work with their peoples to bring reforms.

And in separate remarks, Cairo’s top diplomat downplayed fears that a
Tunisian-style popular revolt could spread to other Arab countries, calling
it “nonsense.”

Abul Gheit made the comments in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh where
Arab foreign ministers are preparing for an economic summit to be held on
Wednesday.

Egypt, he said, proposed to Arab League chief Amr Mussa that the summit
issue a statement concerning “attempts by some Western and European nations
to interfere in Egyptian and Arab affairs.”

“We hope that the summit will adopt Egypt’s proposal which would be a
message from the Arab to the Western and European world saying ‘Do not dare
interfere in our affairs,” he was quoted as saying by the official MENA news
agency.

MENA said he was responding to a question from one of its journalists who
asked if the summit could adopt a common position concerning Western bids to
interfere in Arab affairs.

On Thursday, Clinton urged Arab leaders to work with their peoples to
implement reforms or see extremists fill the void, warning the “region’s
foundations are sinking.”

The region’s peoples “have grown tired of corrupt institutions,” Clinton
told Arab counterparts in Qatar attending the Forum for the Future, a 2004
US initiative aimed at promoting such partnerships.

“In too many places, in too many ways, the region’s foundations are sinking
into the sand. The new and dynamic Middle East that I have seen needs firmer
ground if it is to take root and grow everywhere,” she said.

Clinton said the region’s leaders “in partnership with their peoples” have
the capacity to build a bold new future where entrepreneurship and political
freedoms are encouraged.

“It’s time to see civil society not as a threat but as a partner,” she said.

“Those who cling to the status quo may be able to hold back the full impact
of their countries’ problems for a little while but not forever.

“Others will fill the vacuum,” if leaders failed to offer a positive vision
to give “young people meaningful ways to contribute,” Clinton warned.

Abul Gheit also dismissed the notion that people in the Arab world could be
inspired by Tunisia, where violent protests forced president Zine El Abidine
Ben Ali to abandon his post.

“The talk about the spread of what happened in Tunisia to other countries is
nonsense. Each society has its own circumstances,” Abul Gheit told reporters
in Sharm el-Sheikh.

“If the Tunisian people decide to take that approach, it’s their business.

“Egypt has said that the Tunisian people’s will is what counts,” said the
foreign minister.

“Those who imagine things and seek to escalate the situation will not
achieve their goals.

“The most important thing is the will of the Tunisian people. Nobody is
resisting it,” Abul Gheit added.

After 23 years of iron-fisted rule, Ben Ali caved in to violent popular
protests and fled his country on Friday, becoming the first Arab leader to
do so.

Governments in the Middle East are increasingly uneasy about the situation
as opposition groups seek to take advantage of the upheaval in the north
African country.

Abul Gheit’s remarks also come as Egypt has faced international criticism
following legislative polls in November and December amid accusations of
fraud, and for its handling of its Coptic Christian minority after a deadly
New Year’s Day bombing of one of their churches.

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