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International reactions to Morsi's removal range from glee to censure

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by Zeinab Mohamed

International capitals that had strained relations with Egypt during former President Mohamed Morsi's tumultuous one-year rule have hailed his removal by the Egyptian army following mass demonstrations.

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UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahayan said that he had followed developments in Egypt with "much consideration and satisfaction," lauding Egypt's army for its timely intervention, AFP reported.

Relations between Abu Dhabi and Egypt have been strained since Morsi's victory in Egypt's first-ever free presidential election one year ago. Abu Dhabi has since arrested scores of pro-reform Egyptian voices, meanwhile, accusing them of establishing illegal Muslim Brotherhood "cells" in the oil-rich emirate.

Syrian government television portrayed Morsi's ouster as a "great achievement." Egypt's and Syria's leaders had been at loggerheads over the crisis in Syria, with each calling for the other's removal.

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The New York Times stated that Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, in an interview with a state-run newspaper, had equated Morsi's overthrow with the "end of political Islam."

Kuwaiti ruler Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah and Saudi King Abdullah both congratulated Egypt's interim president, according to Reuters.

Saudi Arabian King Abdulla, for his part, sent Adli Mansour, Egypt's new interim president, a message of congratulations Wednesday night, Reuters reported.

The only Gulf Arab state that had backed the Muslim Brotherhood, Qatar, also hailed the news of Morsi's ouster. Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, Qatar's new emir, sent a "congratulatory communique'" to Egypt's new interim president upon the latter's being sworn into office on Thursday.

On the other hand, Tunisia's ruling Islamist party, Ennahda, loosely affiliated with Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, issued a Thursday statement condemning what it described as a "coup against [democratic] legitimacy," Reuters quoted him as saying.

"We view what the leadership of the army has done as a setback on the path of the Egyptian revolution and an attempt to reinstall the old regime," the statement said.

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Turkey, which grappled with its own anti-government demonstrations last month, also condemned the Egyptian military's intervention, describing it as "undemocratic."

"The power change in Egypt was not a result of the will of the people. The change was not in compliance with democracy and law," AFP quoted Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag as saying.

Egypt's case is of particular relevance for Turkey, which has a long history of military coups against democratically-elected Islamist governments.

Fearing an upsurge of violence in the region, Russia's foreign ministry called on Egyptian political groups to "exercise restraint" and refrain from using violence in the aftermath of Morsi's army-imposed ouster.

Though a staunch supporter of the principle of state sovereignty, China voiced support for the "choice of the Egyptian people" but called for engaging in national dialogue.

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International reactions to Morsi's removal range from glee to censure