Saudi King Abdullah states support for Egypt's military

On Friday King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia voiced his support for the military leadership of Egypt and spoke of fighting against terrorism, a reference to the Muslim Brotherhood. Saudi pledged $5 billion in aid to Egypt after the ousting of President Mohamed Morsi. 

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    King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, speaks during the graduation ceremony of the of Saudi Medical Specializations in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in May, 2009. On Saturday, the king called on Arabs to stand together in support of the Egyptian military leadership.
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Saudi King Abdullah called on Arabs on Friday to stand together against "attempts to destabilise" Egypt, in a message of support for the military leadership and an attack on the Muslim Brotherhood.

"The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, its people and government, stood and stands today with its brothers in Egypt against terrorism," he said in a message read out on Saudi television, in an apparent reference to continuing clashes between the Muslim Brotherhood and police.

"I call on the honest men of Egypt and the Arab and Muslim nations... to stand as one man and with one heart in the face of attempts to destabilise a country that is at the forefront of Arab and Muslim history," he added.

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Hundreds were killed in Egypt this week when the security forces cleared protest camps set up by the Muslim Brotherhood to demonstrate against the military's ousting of President Mohamed Morsi last month.

Saudi Arabia was a close ally of former President Hosni Mubarak — the veteran strongman brought down by a popular uprising in 2011 — and it fears the spread of Muslim Brotherhood ideology to the Gulf monarchies. It pledged $5 billion in aid to Egypt after the Islamist Morsi was ousted.

King Abdullah's statement was Saudi Arabia's first comment on the turmoil in Egypt, a country it sees as an essential ally against Shi'ite Muslim Iran and anti-Western Islamist groups.

"All those who meddle in Egypt's internal affairs are inflaming strife," he said, adding that the North African country faces "a conspiracy of plotters" trying to strike at its unity and stability.

Reporting by Angus McDowall in Riyadh, Sami Aboudi and Maha El Dahan in Dubai

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