Middle East's shifting alignments

Middle East's shifting alignments

Posted in the Chicago Forum


Tampa, FL

#1 Aug 18, 2013
Middle East's shifting alignments

Split over Egypt crackdown underscores growing policy differences between US and some longtime regional allies.

Across the Gulf, governments that have long been hostile to the Muslim Brotherhood rushed to praise last week's security crackdown on supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, which left more than 800 people dead.

Bahrain welcomed the effort to “restore security, stability and public order”; the United Arab Emirates praised the security forces for their “self-control.”

"The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, its people and government, stood and stands today with its brothers in Egypt against terrorism," King Abdullah said in a statement read on state television.

It was a stark contrast with the US, which condemned the massacre but largely in rhetorical terms.

In a brief statement on Thursday, US president Barack Obama announced that the US was pulling out of a joint military exercise with Egypt scheduled for next month, but made no mention of changes to the $1.3bn in annual aid for the Egyptian military.

“While we want to sustain our relationship with Egypt, our traditional cooperation cannot continue as usual when civilians are being killed in the streets and rights are being rolled back,” he said.

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