Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Egyptian foreign minister says US is fueling Middle East turmoil

(From Associated Press via Raw Story)

Staff AP News
May 19, 2008 19:33 EST

Egypt's foreign minister criticized President Bush' Mideast policies Monday, a day after the American leader lectured Arab leaders on their approach to governing.

Bush took a strikingly tougher tone with Arab nations during his address to the World Economic Forum on the Middle East than he did with Israel in a speech last week.

Israel received praise from the president while Arab nations heard a litany of U.S. criticisms mixed with some compliments.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit responded Monday by saying U.S. support for Israel and its own actions in the Mideast helped fuel turmoil and a clash of civilizations between Muslims and the West.

"When we see ... an Israeli tank in an Arab city, a Palestinian city or an American tank in an Arab city firing arms, that makes people angry," said Aboul Gheit at a summit meeting linked to the economic forum being held in Sharm El-Sheik, a Red Sea resort town.

"The anger leads to lots of turmoil. Turmoil leads to instability," said Aboul-Gheit.
Bush lectured Arab nations Sunday on suppressing political opposition and religious freedom in the region. He also said Iran must not be allowed to obtain a nuclear weapon.

"Would you please tell me, did anyone raise the issue of the Israeli capability?" said Aboul Gheit on Monday to roaring applause. "Why are you hiding the Israeli nuclear capability?"

Experts have long maintained Israel has nuclear weapons, although the Jewish state refuses to confirm or deny it.

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