The Statement of the Saudi Foreign Affairs Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal on the Current Events in Egypt
Jeddah, 12 Shawwal 1434 A.H. 19 August 2013, Saudi Press Agency
H.R.H. Prince Saud Al-Faisal, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, made it clear that the purpose of his visit to Paris and his meeting with H.E. President Francois Hollande on Sunday, 18 August 2013, was to discuss the current situation in Egypt with his friends in France with a view to coordinating their views on the events taking place there on the basis of facts rather than hypotheses.
In a statement to the Saudi Press Agency, he said: "In reality, what the sister Arab Republic of Egypt is witnessing today is a manifestation of the will of thirty million Egyptians who, on 30 June, expressed their desire for the holding of early presidential elections as the inevitable consequence of the deteriorating economic, political and social situation. This led to a meeting in which all the political and social leaders and forces announced a new road map to save Egypt after the former President refused to respond to the wishes of millions of the Egyptian people. The road map made provision for amendment of the Constitution and the scheduling of presidential and parliamentary elections in which all the political forces would participate. This popular uprising by thirty mil1ion Egyptians can under no circumstances be described as a military coup, since military coups are carried out in a clandestine manner and the presidential authority in Egypt has been assumed by a civilian in accordance with the Egyptian Constitution".
He added: "The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is deeply grieved to see that the events and developments in Egypt have now degenerated into street warfare, destruction of public and private property, threats to the security of citizens, loss of innocent lives and arson attacks in all of Egypt 's provinces by a faction that refuses to respond to the will of the Egyptian people and has even rejected all the conciliation initiatives of the Sheikh of the Al-Azhar, as well as the Arab and international appeals. This faction has organized sit-ins in Egypt's main squares and has brought life to a standstill in the surrounding areas, intimidating their residents, amassing weapons and munitions and using women and children as human shields in an attempt to win public sympathy. These ostensibly peaceful sit-ins lasting more than 40 days are incompatible with all the international laws governing freedom of expression and human rights which prohibit as criminal acts any terrorization of citizens, armed attacks on their property or disruption of their daily lives. Such acts are incompatible with the principles of democracy and human rights.
In this connection, reference should be made to another fact illustrated by the Egyptian Government's tireless attempts to disperse the sit-ins by various peaceful means and through negotiations. Most regrettably, however, these endeavours were stubbornly rejected and even met with a violent response through the use of firearms and Molotov cocktails against police officers and citizens alike.
In spite of the large scale of the sit-ins in both the Rabi a al-Adawiyya and Al-Nahda Squares, the successful measures taken by the Egyptian Government to disperse them with unprecedented speed and a minimum of casualties are commendable. Far from any conjecture, I am saying this in the light of audio-visually recorded events.
It is with profound sadness that we are today seeing opponents burning mosques, churches, military installations and police stations, terrorizing peaceful civilians and attempting to transform the crisis into street warfare. The fact that this mob activity coincides with terrorist acts in Sinai confirms their common origin. This is a deplorable state of affairs that is unacceptable under any local or international principles or laws and is inconsistent with peaceful protests, bearing in mind that all national laws throughout the world categorically prohibit any armed demonstrations, threats to public security, encroachment on public property or disruption of the daily lives and interests of citizens.
It is with deep regret that we are today seeing international attitudes veering incomprehensibly toward disregard of these irrefutable facts and focusing on general principles as though they were endeavouring to cover up the criminal acts being committed by these opponents who are setting Egypt ablaze and killing its peaceful people. Such attitudes are even encouraging the guilty parties to continue these practices. Most unfortunately, we are seeing that the international community 's attitude toward the events taking place in Egypt is inconsistent with its attitude toward the events in Syria. Where is the concern for human rights and the inviolability of human life within the context of the daily massacres that are being committed in Syria where more than 100,000 Syrians have been killed and the entire country has been devastated without even a whisper of condemnation from the international community that is vociferously advocating human rights in accordance with the dictates of its own interests and inclinations?
If these attitudes persist, we in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ¥till not forget them, nor will they be forgotten by the Arab Islamic World. This epoch will be stigmatized as one in which rights were violated under baseless and unreasonable pretexts that weigh heavily on the human conscience. Far from being viewed as an indication of ignorance or good intentions, any disregard for these facts or acquiescence in baseless and fallacious propaganda will be viewed as hostility toward the interests and stability of the Arab and Islamic nations. The Kingdom and the Arab nation cannot remain silent while Egypt is in distress since, by the grace of God, our nation derives strength from its faith, its peoples and its resources.
All States adopting such negative attitudes toward Egypt should be aware that the conflagration and devastation wm not be confined to Egypt alone; their repercussions will be felt by all those who aided or abetted in the problems and disturbances currently afflicting Egypt's territory.
The Kingdom is astonished by the international attitudes expressed, albeit rather timidly, in regard to the situation in Egypt and which manifest a bias towards those attempting to use the Egyptian people as a political instrument.
In the face of these negative international attitudes toward Egypt, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had no choice but to take an honourable and equitable stand in its favour since Egypt is the largest and most important Arab State and the Kingdom cannot allow its fate to be determined on the basis of erroneous assessments. Consequently, last Friday, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques sent a strong, unequivocal and explicit message stemming from his innate Islamic sense of ethics which always impels him to champion what is right and just without taking ephemeral interests or gains into account. He simply urged the Egyptian people and the Arab and Islamic nations to take a united stand and let reason and wisdom prevail in order to safeguard the security and stability of Egypt. He made it clear that what was happening in Egypt could only be described as pernicious terrorism that needed to be countered and opposed in an extremely forceful and resolute manner; otherwise, its plans to destabilize Egypt would be put into effect. He called for non-interference in the internal affairs of Egypt, saying that such matters should be left to its people and its leaders who were better acquainted with their country's affairs.
In conclusion, I would like to assure everyone that the leadership, Government and people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have stood, and will always stand, beside Egypt. The Arab States will under no circumstances allow the international community to manipulate its destiny or tamper with its security and stability. I hope that the international community will heed the purport of the message sent by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, namely, that the Kingdom is earnest in its intention to spare no effort to help the Egyptian people to achieve security and stability. With regard to announcements of suspension or potential suspension of assistance to Egypt, the Arab Islamic nation is rich in human and material resources and will not hesitate to come to Egypt 's aid since we share a common aim and destiny. You should not begrudge us the security, tranquility and stability that you yourselves enjoy."