Tony Blair gives backing to Egyptian military coup, criticises Brotherhood and calls for international community to support leadership

The former British Prime Minister's comments came during a visit to Cairo in order to discuss the Middle East Peace Process and the situation in Egypt

Tony Blair has given his firm backing to the Egyptian government and called for the international community to get behind the leadership in the country, after a meeting on Wednesday with military chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

The former British Prime Minister's comments came during a visit to Cairo in order to discuss the Middle East peace process and the situation in Egypt.

During an interview with Sky News Arabia, Mr Blair, who had previously given his backing to Hosni Mubarak, accused the Muslim Brotherhood of "taking the country away from its basic values of hope and progress".

He also gave his support to the actions of the military, who helped to depose Mohamed Morsi last July, saying they had acted "at the will of the people".

"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," Mr Blair said.

"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."

Mr Blair first defended the Egyptian army's decision to remove Egypt's first elected leader last year. In comments then Mr Blair said the alternative to the military coup would have been "chaos".

At the time of his original comments he faced heavy criticism from, amongst others, the former Tory Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd, who said: "We should not go out of our way to clap our hands and say 'That's marvellous' as Tony Blair has done. We should keep our counsel, keep our wits about us, and wait for the last act of the drama which may be some years away."

Speaking today Mr Blair said: "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."

“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?"

“...So my view is, when I look at the region I see it as one picture with different parts and right here in Egypt, 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 get behind the leadership here and helps.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager / Sales - OTE £45,000

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a solutions / s...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £45,000

£18000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive is required t...

Recruitment Genius: Test Development Engineer

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you inspired to bring new a...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Motor Engineer

£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific