Saudi urges world support for ‘stability’ in Egypt

RIYADH, Aug 21, 2013 (AFP)

Saudi Arabia on Wednesday urged world support for the bid by Egypt’s interim government to achieve “stability” in the country, and not to hamper its efforts.

 ”We expect the international community to support the efforts of Egypt’s government in its bid to achieve what we all aspire for — security, stability, and prosperity,” Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal told AFP.

The kingdom urges the international community, “not to take measures that could hamper the efforts of Egypt’s government to stabilise” the country, Prince Saud said.

His comments come as European Union ministers are due to meet later Wednesday in Brussels, where they are expected to firmly condemn the violence sweeping Egypt but stop short of sanctions.

The EU meeting has been hastily convened in the middle of Europe’s summer break after the deaths of almost 900 people in a week of unrelenting violence in Egypt, linked to Cairo’s crackdown on supporters of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi who was deposed by the army on July 3.

Among the options mulled by the ministers will be withholding part of the EU’s massive aid package or suspending arms deals as well as military and security cooperation pending a political solution in the Arab nation.

Prince Saud announced on Monday that Arab and Islamic nations are ready to step in to help Egypt if Western nations cut aid packages to Cairo.

Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries welcomed Egypt’s ouster of Morsi, with Riyadh announcing an aid package of $5 billion to Egypt. Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates followed suit, bringing the pledges made by the three oil-rich Arab states of the Gulf to $12 billion.

Analysts say Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies are throwing their financial and diplomatic weight behind Egypt’s army-installed rulers because they see the political Islam espoused by Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood as a regional destabilising force.

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