BEIRUT: The international community roundly condemned the Egyptian military’s bloody crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood protesters that saw over 192 people killed and hundreds more wounded. States both supportive and staunchly opposed to the Brotherhood voiced fears of violent repercussions and denounced the use of violence. The U.S. condemned the violence, saying it would only make it more difficult for Egypt to move forward.
In a stern warning to Egypt’s leaders, Secretary of State John Kerry said the escalating violence had dealt a “serious blow” to political reconciliation efforts between the military-backed interim government and Morsi supporters.
During a surprise appearance at the State Department, Kerry condemned the violence as well as the restoration of emergency rule and urged Egypt’s interim leaders to take a step back and calm the situation.
“This is a pivotal moment for all Egyptians,” he said. “The path toward violence leads only to greater instability, economic disaster and suffering.”
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the violence ran counter to the pledges made by Egypt’s interim government. He added that the “world is watching.”
Likewise, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon denounced the violence and said he regretted that Egyptian authorities chose to use force to respond to the demonstrations.
Ban is “well aware that the vast majority of the Egyptian people want their country to go forward peacefully in an Egyptian-led process toward prosperity and democracy,” according to a statement from his office.
The U.N. chief urged all Egyptians to focus on reconciliation.
The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, deplored the violence and called for Egypt’s security forces to “exercise utmost restraint.”
She outlined several key elements on how to encourage dialogue and move the process forward, including “peaceful protest, protecting all citizens and enabling full political participation.”
The energy-rich Gulf state of Qatar, which backs the Muslim Brotherhood, said it “strongly condemns” the violence in Egypt. The Foreign Affairs Ministry urged Egyptian authorities to refrain from security crackdowns on demonstrations. It also said the best way out of the crisis was through peaceful dialogue.
Turkey’s government, meanwhile, harshly criticized the crackdown, with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s office calling the violence “a serious blow to the hopes of a return to democracy.” It also blamed other unnamed countries for encouraging the government after Morsi’s July 3 ouster.
Turkish President Abdullah Gul warned that Egypt could descend into chaos, comparing the clashes to the crackdown in Syria that precipitated a civil war.
The Brotherhood-aligned Hamas-run government in Gaza condemned the “use of force and bloodshed” in Egypt. In a short statement, Hamas said authorities should use “peaceful political solutions” in dealing with the crisis.
In neighboring Jordan, meanwhile, the opposition Muslim Brotherhood urged its Egyptian peers to continue protests, saying their victory would help the fundamentalist group rise to power elsewhere in the Arab world.
The Brotherhood’s political arm, the Islamic Action Front, also warned Egypt’s military rulers that they had fallen into a “conspiracy” hatched by the U.S. and Israel to weaken Muslims.
Brotherhood protesters staged a rally outside the Egyptian Embassy in Amman and rebuked Egypt’s military rulers as a “tool for corrupt and tyrant military regimes.”
In Tunisia, where the moderate Islamist government, run by the Ennahda party, is facing protests and calls to step down, President Rachid Ghannouch called the crackdown an “abject crime.” He expressed solidarity with the pro-Morsi backers’ bid to “recover their freedom and oppose the coup d’etat.”
The ouster in 2011 of Tunisia’s autocratic leader, Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, triggered the Arab Spring, which spread to Egypt.
Even Iran’s Foreign Ministry condemned the crackdown, warning the violence “strengthens the possibility of civil war.”
“While denouncing the violent crackdown and condemning the massacre of the people, it expresses its deep concern regarding the undesirable consequences” of the events, the ministry said in a statement.
British Prime Minister David Cameron said the violence was “not going to solve anything,” adding that “what is required in Egypt is a genuine transition to a genuine democracy. That means compromise from all sides.”
France demanded an “immediate end to the repression,” condemning the “the bloody violence” in unusually strong language. Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said an “urgent international position” reflecting this must be reached, and called on Ban and Paris’ main partners to contribute.
“The current situation will not be resolved by force,” a statement from Fabius said. He called on all sides to “without delay open a dialogue that includes all Egyptian political forces to find a democratic end to this grave crisis.” The minister said France was immediately available to help bring sides together.
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said the government was “extremely worried” about the “very dangerous” escalation of violence, indirectly criticizing the leadership for its crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said the “decisive principle” must be “that the human rights of all Egyptians, independent of their political direction and conviction, have to be respected and protected.”