August 20, 2013 Special Dispatch No. 5414

Saudi Foreign Minister Sa'ud Al-Faisal: The West Is Covering Up And Even Encouraging The Crimes Of The Muslim Brotherhood In Egypt

August 20, 2013
Saudi Arabia, Egypt | Special Dispatch No. 5414

On August 19, 2013, following his Paris visit the previous day, during which he met with French President Francois Hollande to discuss the situation in Egypt, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Sa'ud Al-Faisal released a number of statements to the official Saudi news agency. In the statements, he expresses his full support for the demonstrations in Egypt that led to the ouster of president Muhammad Mursi, and also for the road map presented by Egyptian Defense Minister Gen. Al-Sisi, which calls, inter alia, for early presidential elections in Egypt.

Al-Faisal goes on to say that these demonstrations reflect the will of 30 million people, and that "this uprising cannot in any way be described as a military coup." He adds that the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) had refused to heed the will of the people and that it had rejected all mediation initiatives aimed at resolving the crisis. He says that the Egyptian government's decision to disperse the MB sit-ins in Cairo was the right one, and blames the MB for the current violence across Egypt.

Also in his statements, Al-Faisal castigates the West and the international community, claiming that it looks like they are seeking to cover up the MB's crimes and even to encourage the MB to continue committing them. He hints that this position is hypocritical, pointing to the contrast between the West's stance on Egypt and its stance on Syria. "Where is the concern for human rights and the sanctity of blood [when it comes to the] carnage that is taking place every day in Syria?", he asks. He states further that what is happening in Egypt is terrorism that must be fought with all possible force and determination, and that his country will stand by Egypt.

The following are excerpts from an English-language version of the statements published by the Saudi news agency.[1]

Saudi Foreign Minister Sa'ud Al-Faisal (image:

"The Uprising Of 30 Million Egyptians Cannot In Any Way Be Described As A Military Coup"

"The fact is that what is happening in the sisterly Arab Republic of Egypt today reflects the will of 30 million Egyptians who, on June 30 [2013], expressed their desire to conduct early presidential elections as an inevitable result of the deterioration of economic, political and social conditions, which led all political and social leaders and forces to meet and announce a new road map leading Egypt to safety. [This,] after the former presidency refused to respond to the wishes of millions of Egyptian people. The roadmap included the amendment of the constitution and the holding, on specific dates, of presidential and parliamentary elections involving all political forces. The uprising of 30 million Egyptians cannot in any way be described as a military coup, for military coups take place under the cover of darkness. In addition, a civilian presidency took power in Egypt, in line with the Egyptian constitution.

"The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia views with much regret the events and developments that are happening in Egypt today, which amount... to a war in the streets, the destruction of public and private property, the terrorizing of citizens, the loss of innocent lives, and the burning of whole governorates of Egypt by a movement [i.e., the Muslim Brotherhood] that refuses to respond to the Egyptian popular will and rejects all reconciliation initiatives launched by Sheikh Al-Azhar in addition to Arab and international appeals. They sat in squares of Egypt, paralyzed life in the surrounding areas, terrorized the population, amassed weapons and ammunition, used women and children as human shields in an attempt to win the sympathy of the public, and continued [their] sit-ins for more than forty days. [This] conflicts with the peaceful [nature] of sit-ins, and is incompatible with all international laws [guaranteeing] freedom of opinion and human rights, which prohibit and criminalize [acts of] terrorizing citizens and attacking their property with the force of weapons and disabling and paralyzing life. This is not what is called for by the principles of democracy or human rights.

''[Let me] indicate another fact, [namely] the Egyptian Government's strenuous attempts to clear the sit-ins by various peaceful means and through negotiations, but unfortunately, these efforts were met with intransigence and rejection and even with violence through the use of weapons and Molotov cocktails against police officers and citizens alike.

"Praise should be expressed for the actions of the Egyptian government and its ability to clear [the squares] in a short record time with the lowest number of losses. I say this not as a hypothesis, but as a reality... documented in sound and image.

"What we are unfortunately witnessing today – the initiative by the opponents [of the current Egyptian authorities] to burn mosques, churches, military installations and police stations and to terrorize innocent people in an attempt to turn the crisis into a war in the streets, as well as the synchronization of this mob's activity with the terrorist acts in the Sinai – confirms that the source [of all this violence] is one. This matter causes sorrow and grief. It's not acceptable by any domestic and international principles and laws, and it is incompatible with peaceful protests, taking into account that the laws of all countries in the world unequivocally prohibit any demonstrations or armed threat to the security of citizens or to public property or the disrupting of the life or the interests of citizens."

"Where Is The [International] Concern For Human Rights And The Sanctity Of Blood... In Syria?"

"Unfortunately, we see today international positions which have taken a strange course of ignoring these irrefutable facts and [instead] focus on general principles, as if they want to cover up the crimes that these opponents [of the current Egyptian authorities] are committing, the burning of Egypt and the killing of its people, and even [want] to encourage these parties to persist in such practices. Regrettably, we see that the international position towards the current events in Egypt is contrary to the attitudes towards the events in Syria. Where is the concern for human rights and the sanctity of blood [when it comes to the] carnage that is taking place every day in Syria, which has led to the killing of more than one hundred thousand Syrians and the destruction of Syria as a whole, without [us] hearing [even a] whisper from the international community, which adheres to human rights [only when this suits] its interests and whims.

"If these attitudes continue, we will not forget them in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and they will not be forgotten by the Arab and Muslim world. This time will be [remembered] as the time in which rights were violated with feeble pretexts that can neither be accepted by the mind nor satisfy the conscience. Those who ignore these facts and [hide] behind flimsy propaganda and lies, we will not consider [their attitude to be a reflection of] good faith or ignorance. We will consider it as an attitude hostile to the interests of the Arab and Islamic nations and their stability. Egypt will not be harmed while the Kingdom and the Arab nations remain silent. This is a nation with strong faith, peoples and potential... All countries that take such negative attitudes toward Egypt should know that the blaze and ruin will not be limited to Egypt alone, but will reflect on all those who have contributed or stood [idly] by [in the face of the] problems and disorders taking place in Egypt today... As for those who announced, or hinted, that they would stop their aid to Egypt, [they should know that] the Arab and Islamic nation is rich in its sons and its abilities, and will not be tardy in granting aid to Egypt, for our destiny is one and our goal is one.[2]

"What Is Happening In Egypt Is Nothing But Terrorism"; Saudi Arabia Will Stand By Egypt

"The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, [on the other hand], had to take an honorable and correct attitude. Egypt is considered the most important and largest Arab country, and the Kingdom cannot allow its destiny to depend on erroneous estimates. Therefore, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King 'Abdallah bin 'Abd Al-'Aziz, conveyed last Friday a strong, clear and explicit message [reflecting] his Islamic behavior, which makes him always stand by those who are right without care for interests or ephemeral gains. The Kingdom asked only that the Egyptian people and Arab and Islamic nations stand [united], as one man, and that reason and wisdom prevail, so as to maintain the security and stability of Egypt...

"What is happening in Egypt is nothing but terrorism which does not seek the good [of Egypt], and it must be confronted with all force and firmness, otherwise terrorism will realize its plans to harm Egypt and its stability. The King has demanded non-interference in the internal affairs of Egypt, and that this matter should be left to its people and leadership, for they know more than others about the affairs of their country."


[1], August 18, 2013. The text has been edited for clarity.

[2] It should be noted that the last sentence in the above paragraph did not appear in the English version of the statements that was published by the Saudi news agency; however, it appeared in the Arabic version published in several Saudi papers. See, for example, Al-Hayat (London), Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), Al-Watan (Saudi Arabia), August 20, 2013.

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