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497 words - August 15, 2013 | © DiploNews, all rights reserved.
On August 15, French President François Hollande summoned the Ambassador of Egypt to France, Nasser Kamel. Mr. Hollande told his "absolute concern about the tragic events which have been taking place in Egypt since yesterday (August 14)."(1) Also, the French leader has "resolutely condemned the bloodshed" and "demanded an immediate halt to repression." Minutes later, the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy issued similar statements condemning the Egyptian government's decision to use force against the demonstrations and sit-ins organized by the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) in Cairo and elsewhere in the country.
In the meantime, local sources reported that MB partisans, who have been demanding the immediate reinstatement of Mohammed Morsi as President of Egypt, have killed a large number of Coptic Christians and burned several churches in the framework of an extremist backlash that is likely to turn even bloodier in the days to come, according to several analysts. Suspected of supporting the military, the Coptic Christian minority (between 5 to 10% of the Egyptian population) has suffered massacres that went unnoticed by European officials.
Monitoring of the diplomatic activity worldwide by DiploNews pointed out that the stances of the United States, the European countries and Qatar are grosso modo of one mind with regard to Egypt. The issue for Western governments is that their stance on the latest events in Egypt has marked a clear break with their respective public opinions. Recent polls, comments, blogs and social networks' posts - like this Twitter post or this one and thousands more - in the West have been particularly in opposition to Western support to the MB and ousted President Morsi in Egypt.
In France, commentators, whatever their political tendencies, have explained that President Hollande "might have a same situation to deal with at home someday" and "should rather not meddle in" what has been happening in Egypt. Similar comments have been posted across Europe, particularly in Italy where the killings of Coptic Christians, and their oblivion by Western governments, has fed deep anger. In the United States, progressive or conservative editorials shared a same shock about the situation in Egypt but stressed the awful events aren't entirely the Egyptian military's responsibility.
On the diplomatic scene, two additional groups have emerged too. Turkey and most of the Arab countries which have supported the MB on the one hand, and Saudi Arabia and Iran which have voiced their concern on the other hand, with somehow Russia and China on the same line as Iran's. In addition to a divided Middle East, public opinions overtly disagree with their governments' stances. A similar assessment – DiploNews had talked about a "great divide" – had been drawn in July about President Hollande's foreign policy and the French public opinion.
Consequently, with or without an emergency session of the UN Security Council, it seems highly unlikely the international community could do anything in Egypt as long as governments and public opinions disagree. So far, hundreds have been killed in the confrontations between pro-Morsi partisans and the Egyptian military.
(1) Translation from french to english is DiploNews' and unofficial.
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