Hague and Obama make cautious approach to new regime as international community responds

Foreign Minister says the UK will recognise Egypt's leaders as new regime is met with mixed response from neighbouring countries

Oscar Quine
Thursday 04 July 2013 18:24 BST
William Hague has confirmed that Britain would recognise Egypt's new military regime
William Hague has confirmed that Britain would recognise Egypt's new military regime

Foreign Minister William Hague has joined President Obama in calling for a swift, peaceful return to democratic rule in Egypt following the military deposition of Mohamed Morsi.

Hague added that Britain would recognise Egypt's new military regime following the country's military coup, in comments on Radio 4's Today programme.

"It's a dangerous precedent - if one president can be deposed by the military so could another in the future, " he said.

"We recognise states not governments. We recognise the state of Egypt and we have to work with whoever is in authority... There isn't really a question of not recognising."

"Yes it is wrong. We don't support military interventions in democratic systems... This will now move on very quickly."

In a statement released hours after Morsi was toppled, President Barack Obama echoed Hague’s sentiments. He said the US wasn’t taking sides in the conflict and was instead committed only to democracy and respect for rule of law.

However, he voiced concerns over developments – saying he was "deeply concerned" by the military's move to topple Morsi's government and suspend the country’s constitution.

He urged the military to hand back power to a democratic, civilian government at the earliest possible opportunity. He stopped short of labelling what has happened a coup d’etat.

Straddling the Suez Canal and Israel's biggest neighbour, Egypt's stability is important for many powers.

Obama said he was ordering his government to "review the implications" of the military's actions for US foreign aid to Egypt — totalling $1.5 billion a year in military and economic assistance.

Tunisia's ruling Islamist party, Ennahda, today condemned what it called a "coup against legitimacy".

In a statement, the party said: "Ennahda rejects what happened and believes legitimacy is represented by President Mohamed Morsi, and no one else."

It has been reported that the African Union is likely to suspend Egypt from all activities, following the unconstitutional power change.

Meanwhile, Egypt’s Arab neighbours have expressed support for the military coup.

The United Arab Emirates, one of the region’s most outspoken critics of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, released a statement through its official news agency WAM stating its “satisfaction” at the removal of Mohammed Morsi.

The UAE claims that Islamist groups backed by the Muslim Brotherhood have sought to topple its Western-backed ruling system.

In an interview published today in Syria's state-run Al Thawra newspaper, the country's president Bashar Assad praised this week's protests, saying the overthrow of Morsi meant the end of "political Islam."

In Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah sent a message of congratulations to the head of Egypt's Constitutional Court.

Among the Gulf Arab states, only Qatar has close Brotherhood ties.

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