Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Morsi's fall, engineered by Saudis, now Israel's fault?

One of the reasons blogging the Middle East is hard today:

Last Tuesday, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey's prime minister,
accused Israel of being behind the ouster of Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. . . .
This is curious and confusing, because
 Saudi Arabia's backing for the recent Egyptian coup, which its head of intelligence, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, had worked so tirelessly to achieve, was instantaneous. When Adli Mansour, the former head of Egypt's supreme court, was sworn in as interim president, King Abdullah sent him a message praising the Egyptian army for having saved the country from a dark tunnel.
The Saudi monarch followed this up last Friday with a speech whose bluntness was atypical of the man. "Let the entire world know," he proclaimed "that the people and government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia stood and still stand today with our brothers in Egypt against terrorism, extremism and sedition, and against whomever is trying to interfere in Egypt's internal affairs."  The Guardian.
And the Saudis are giving the Egyptian military dictators billions of dollars to support the coup.

Why would Prime Minister Erdoğan say such a thing?

The answer may lie in Syria: Turkey has a burning desire to see President Bashar al-Assad gone, and Erdoğan's disappointment with both the Obama's and Putin's apparent joint decision not to bomb Syria over "chemical" weapons is widely known.

A UN brokered settlement of the weapons issue backed by the U.S. and Russia might lead to a brokered resolution of the ciil war, which might not turn out to be in Turkey's interest.

Supporting the Saudi now might be in Erdoğan's interest.  The Saudi are prime contributors to the Salafi rebels in Syria. MUSLIM WORLD - FRANCE 24,  How Saudi petrodollars fuel rise of Salafism .

  See, e.g. Reuters' Saudi edges Qatar to control Syrian rebel support. And see The Guardian,  Syria's rebels fear foreign jihadis in their midst; The Economist, Jihadis in Syria A Salafi shindig.

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