By The Associated Press
An Egyptian walks in front of an army armored vehicle that guards an entrance of Tahrir Square, in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Aug. 16, 2013. Egypt is bracing for more violence after the Muslim Brotherhood called for nationwide marches after Friday prayers and a “day of rage” to denounce this week’s unprecedented bloodshed in the security forces’ assault on the supporters of the country’s ousted Islamist president that left more many hundreds dead. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
Reactions on Friday around the world to developments in Egypt following clashes in which hundreds of people were killed and thousands injured:
Thousands of protesters took to the streets after Friday prayers, in several cities across Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country, calling for the bloodshed in Egypt to end. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said in his annual state-of-the-nation address that the excessive force used to disperse demonstrations in Egypt was against democratic values and humanity. He called on all parties to “build compromise and seek a win-win solution.”
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.
The Foreign Ministry urged its citizens to refrain from traveling to Egypt, extending a previous warning to include Red Sea beach resorts around Hughada 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, said Development Minister Dirk Niebel.
French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel want European Union foreign ministers to meet next week to coordinate a response to the violence in Egypt. The two spoke by telephone on Friday, and called for an end to violence and a resumption of dialogue.
The Taliban condemned the violence and called for the restoration of the deposed president, Mohammed Morsi. In a statement signed by The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the name under which the Taliban ruled Afghanistan until ousted by a U.S. invasion, they also called on international organizations to take practical steps to stop the violence and “not be satisfied with only condemning this barbaric incident.”
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.
Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide condemned the disproportionate violence against demonstrators in telephone conversation with Egypt’s interim Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi. “My message was that everything must be done to prevent a bloodbath, that the security forces must comply with international human rights obligations, and that all parties must show restraint,” the online Norway Post quoted Eide as saying.
FINLAND, SWEDEN, NORWAY AND DENMARK
The Nordic countries changed their advice to citizens, warning against all non-essential travel to Egypt. Several tour operators canceled trips to Egypt and began returning tourists early from holiday resorts.
The Foreign Ministry is advising Polish citizens that if they travel to Egypt they should stay in resorts, avoid big cities, bazaars, shopping malls, and museums. The ministry says on its website that it considers Red Sea resorts as safe.
Polish tourists returning from the beach resort of Hurghada told TVN24 in Warsaw that all tours were canceled, except visits to the town of Hurghada, and that armed guards were stationed at the town’s airport.
In Saudi Arabia, whose rulers have given financial assistance to the post-Morsi government in Egypt, the top religious cleric called on Egyptians to refrain from attacking police “as they are the ones who protect the country.” The online Saudi newspaper Riyadh also quoted Grand Mufti Sheik Abdul-Aziz Al-Sheik, who holds the rank of Cabinet minister, as saying that it would be “a great loss for the Muslim nation if Egypt, the big Islamic country, is destroyed