Don't let extremists seize on Egypt revolt: Germany

6th February 2011, Comments 0 comments

The West stands by the reform movements in the Arab world but extremists should not be allowed to seize on the upheaval to impose radical views, Germany's foreign minister said Sunday.

"We want democrats to be able to articulate their interests. We do not want extremists with their intolerant ideas taking this moment of opportunity to propose radical ideas," Guido Westerwelle said.

The international community should support Egyptians on the path to democracy but should avoid creating the impression that change is dictated by foreigners, Westerwelle told the Munich Security Conference.

"The Egyptian people alone will decide who should govern them. We can help them, provide advice to the democrats, and this is what we want to do," he said.

The West hopes the "sea change" taking hold across the region will take place peacefully, without endangering international security, he said.

Egypt has been rocked for almost two weeks by mass demonstrations across the country, inspired by an uprising in Tunisia. There have also been protests in Yemen and Jordan.

The revolt in Egypt has raised fears that the regime of President Hosni Mubarak, one of only two nations with Jordan to have a peace treaty with Israel, would be replaced with an Islamic regime hostile to the West.

© 2011 AFP

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