Russia adopts "told you so" stance at Egyptian coup; Obama's America shamed by Africa
Vladimir Putin's Russia feels vindicated by Egyptian coup, Saudi Arabia supports it, while anti-colonial Africa condemns it outright
As the United States government continues to avoid describing last week's events in Egypt as a "military coup", for fear of legal provisions which would immediately stop aid to the world's most populous Arab nation, top Russian officials are gloating at what they regard as the failure of Western-inspired, democratic change.
While the Russian foreign ministry has adopted a neutral approach, diplomatically calling for "restraint" on all sides in Egypt, a close ally of President Vladimir Putin has struck out publicly, in what diplomats describe as a pointed rebuke to the West against the whole notion of political change in the Middle East.
"The Arab Spring has only led to chaos in Egypt and a bloody foreign-backed drama in Syria, war in Libya, a mess in Tunisia and war in Mali," Alexei Pushkov, the chairman of the State Duma's International Affairs Committee, was quoted by the Moscow Times as saying.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, one senior Moscow-based diplomat from a leading European Union country told The Commentator on Saturday:
"This is the authentic voice of the Kremlin. President Putin and his closest circle were terrified at the Arab Spring, fearing that if democracy succeeded in that part of the world, it might come back to Russia too. Now, after the coup in Egypt they feel vindicated that democracy doesn't work, at least in the way it works in places such as Britain and America."
President Obama has expressed concern at the manner of former Egyptian President Morsi's overthrow, but the American administration has stopped short of calling it a military coup. The European Union adopted a neutral approach. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said in a statement:
"I hope that the new administration will be fully inclusive and reiterate the importance of ensuring full respect for fundamental rights, freedoms and the rule of law, and will hold the authorities to account for this."
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia, which like Russia was fearful of the so called Arab Spring provoking radical change back home, offered praise for the coup: "In the name of the people of Saudi Arabia and on my behalf, we congratulate your leadership of Egypt in this critical period of its history," King Abdullah was quoted by the BBC as saying.
The strongest and most direct condemnation for the military coup d'etat in Egypt has come from Africa. Uhuru Kenyatta, president of Kenya said: "The AU [African Union] has a very clear position on coup d’états. We did have an elected government; elected through a democratic process... What is happening in Egypt is a matter of grave concern not just to us in Africa, but to any true believer of democracy.”
The above quoted diplomat said: "It as a sad irony that Russia, Saudi Arabia, America and Europe are broadly in the same camp on what happened in Egypt; while Africans who suffered centuries of colonialism, being patronised for their alleged backwardness, are the only ones really giving a clear, pro-democratic message."
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