Sir Menzies Campbell says Egypt violence must end after “barbaric” events

In an interview with the BBC News Channel, Sir Menzies Campbell said that the international community, led by the US, should work to bring an end to the violence in Egypt. He described yesterday’s events as barbaric.

He said that the US was best placed to use its leverage, based on its funding to the Egyptian army, to initiate the process towards a sustainable political settlement. While in the long term there were strong arguments for those funds to be reduced, doing so at the moment might do more harm than good as it would remove the ability to set conditions.

He also said that the removal of President Morsi from power had been a military coup and questioned the judgement that was made at the time which meant that it was not described as such by Britain and the US.

Egypt, he added, was of key strategic importance given its location and peace treaty with Israel so it was in all our interests for there to be an end to the violence and a stable long term solution. Without serious effort to bring that about, recent events show the potential for Egypt to completely break down.

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12 Comments

  • Graham Martin-Royle 15th Aug '13 - 2:27pm

    Western leaders keep promoting the benefits of democracy to countries emerging from dictatorships. If the Egyptian coup isn’t roundly condemned by the west, then why should these countries embrace democracy? It seems to be that we will support you democracy only if you vote for the people that we want. Given that scenario, I can’t see many islamists wanting to bother with the democratic process anymore.

  • Clear Thinker 15th Aug '13 - 2:47pm

    What Sir MC said needs saying, but is the US really best placed to help? – many people in the Arab world distrust them. The mood music from the BBC has seemed to suggest that democracy was failing because the MB were using it to install a new kind of tyranny. Is this true, and would it make a difference? It’s not only Egypt where there is potential for breakdown: do we need a more comprehensive policy approach? Here is another horrifying angle
    http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2013/08/201381494941573782.html

  • If Tony Blair applauds something (i.e. the over-throw of Morsi), I think it’s safe to say it was a ‘BAD THING’…

  • jenny barnes 15th Aug '13 - 5:15pm

    “They have to be protected, all their rights respected,
    till somebody we like can be elected.”
    Send the Marines Tom Lehrer

  • A Social Liberal 15th Aug '13 - 9:07pm

    Sorry Jenny, I don’t get the reference.
    Are you saying that because the Yanks didn’t send the troops in they approved of Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood? Are you saying that they are speaking out against the coup that they are threatening to send in the Marines?

    Clear Thinker.
    Why the US? They have a history with Egypt given their negotiations with Sadat which resulted in the billions given to Egypt. Those billions are a damned big stick to wave at the Egyptians to get them to desist in killing their dissenters and to initiate another election. And possibly to prevent another coup when some of the electorate decide they don’t like the incumbant government, whoever they are.

  • Melanie Harvey 15th Aug '13 - 9:29pm

    US funds Eygptian army therefore military coup bought and paid for by US and why they funded said army. Now the chaos has ensued remove said funds so it can go in as independent peace keeper etc… take over bid USA !!!! Last thing the UK should allow is US going in alone..

  • A Social Liberal 15th Aug '13 - 10:48pm

    The US no more bought the coup than Lib Dem members bought GP commissioning. In both cases parties acted without the express condonance of those who gave them the ability to do so.

  • Why is it so difficult to call this bloody military coup as COUP !!

    If Morsi did not do well and people are not happy with it, they could change it in peaceful elections.

    Now, hundreds of people lose their lives to get their democracy back.

    http://www.carbonated.tv/

  • Michael Parsons 17th Aug '13 - 5:15pm

    But isn’t anyone who thinks it possible to compromise with militant Islam completely self-deluded? Morsi (apart from being incompetent on the economic front) had extended his power and terrified the liberal and secular and minority populations by his advancement of the sharia-loving groups, who openly proclaim they are willing to shed the last drop of their blood to get their own way. Just look at the ethnic cleansing of the Kurds in North-West Syria now underway to crete a sharia State as an exemplary warning! If they have to kill even 200 000 of them to save themnselves from that, how can we blame the Egyptians? They have the same right to act agaiunst superstition and rule by priests as the French had in 1792, and any democrat or human rights supporter should acclaim them for defending individuality against intolerant religious conformity.

  • Clear Thinker 18th Aug '13 - 1:59am

    200,000? I certainly hope it doesn’t get to that. People under extreme stress say all sorts of wild things. The New York Times has an interesting take on Morsi being “incompetent on the economic front”. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/11/world/middleeast/improvements-in-egypt-suggest-a-campaign-that-undermined-morsi.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&

  • Michael Parsons 18th Aug '13 - 1:36pm

    @jedibeeftrix

    Yes – which is why Islamic dictatorship, however pious – degenerates often into exterminations as in North Syria now. You don’t need “army dictatorship” whenh you are under the extermninating thumb of your pious neighbours. And the pursuit of Justice is as futile -in my experience sometimes even more so – under “constitutional parliamentary rule” (i.e. oligarchy, money-power) than in a dictatorship: look at the Liverpool parents’ decades long struggles, look at the hundreds of deaths in hospitals in Staffordshire, look at all the futile ‘lesson-learning’ in social services and so on. We are just so used to denbounciunbg injustice as facing an execution squad or a mob that we don’t recognise it here, for exmple we are inured to the travesties when Human Rights hate machine is switched on to violate the Olympic Truce or drive someone from employment.

    I hope 200 000 is just a figure of speech (though Independence “struggles” annointed by liberal opinion could reap such harvests, could they not?) but my point is the modern secular State wityh its Citizen Army (standing armies such as ours being forbidden under the 1688 settlement) by its social contract makes individuation of belief and conduct possible, and a priority; and needs to use force to do that, so as to defend our right Not To Belong equally as much as our right to a uni-directional Freedom of Association. If we chose to give all British citizens here the right to choose their marriage partners freely, and change their religion or marry across religions freely by personal choice (as we should), do you think we could do that without putting National Guard battalions on the sreets? Would our complacent Telegraphistas even think to try?

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