Blair backs Egypt’s military leaders
My view is, when I look at the region, I see it as one picture with different parts to it, but there’s one big picture, which is: can we in the Middle East achieve societies which are open minded and economies that are modern, that provide jobs for young people, that allow the potential of a country like Egypt to be fulfilled. Because it is an extraordinary country. An ancient civilization, a great people, great energy and determination, but for years and years people have been unable to see the progress they want. In my view, it’s important to see this region, in all its different parts, as one picture. Therefore, my conclusion is, we should support those people in the region who want the open-minded society and the modern economy. That means we support the government here in Egypt.
This is what I say to my colleagues in the West: the fact is, the Muslim Brotherhood tried to take the country away from its basic values of hope and progress. The army have intervened, at the will of the people, but in order to take the country to the next stage of its development, which should be democratic, we should be supporting the new government in doing that.
… I think it is fundamental that the new Government succeeds. That we give it support in bringing in this new era for the people of Egypt. And… you know we can debate the past and it’s probably not very fruitful to do so, but right now I think it’s important the whole of the international community gets behind the leadership here and helps.
It is an awkward choice between the democratic choice of the people, made in 2012, and the generals, which I doubted last year but which may be more defensible now.
Update: I have deleted the bit about last week’s referendum in Egypt; apparently it wasn’t entirely free and fair. I don’t pretend to be an expert. The one thing I could be sure of when I posted this was that the easily outraged would have a considered alternative to Blair’s position, and so it turned out: “Whatever he said: the opposite.”
Photo: Blair meets Adly Mansour, Egypt’s acting president (via Blair Supporter)Tagged in: egypt, tony blair
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