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Mohamed ElBaradei says West must rethink Middle East policy as speculation grows he may run for office in Egypt

1 avril 2010

« There is a need for re-evaluation  (…)  the idea that the only alternative to authoritarian regimes is [Osama] Bin Laden and co is a fake one, yet continuation of current policies will make that prophecy come true, » Mohamed ElBaradei has told the Guardian.

He added:

  • « I see increasing radicalisation in this area of the world, and I understand the reason. People feel repressed by their own governments, they feel unfairly treated by the outside world, they wake up in the morning and who do they see – they see people being shot and killed, all Muslims from Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Darfur. »
  • « I would hope that the lessons of Iraq, both in London and in the US, have started to sink in (…) Sure, there are dictators, but are you ready every time you want to get rid of a dictator to sacrifice a million innocent civilians? All the indications coming out of [the Chilcot inquiry] are that Iraq was not really about weapons of mass destruction but rather about regime change, and I keep asking the same question – where do you find this regime change in international law? And if it is a violation of international law, who is accountable for that?« 
  • « Western policy towards this part of the world has been a total failure, in my view. It has not been based on dialogue, understanding, supporting civil society and empowering people, but rather it’s been based on supporting authoritarian systems as long as the oil keeps pumping. »
  • « If you bet on individuals, instead of the people, you are going to fail. And western policy so far has been to bet on individuals, individuals who are not supported by their people and who are being discredited every day.« 
  • « The west talks a lot about elections in Iran, for example, but at least there were elections – yet where are the elections in the Arab world? If the west doesn’t talk about that, then how can it have any credibility?
  • « Only if you empower the liberals, if you empower the moderate socialists, if you empower all factions of society, only then will extremists be marginalised.« 

See also:

  • Full transcript of the interview  available here
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