US, Europe shifts in Arab region 'shameful': Chavez

Washington and other Western powers have long been accused of using Arab dictators to halt Islamists gain power in the region.

US, Europe shifts in Arab region 'shameful': Chavez

Venezuela's leader Hugo Chavez accused the United States on Sunday of a "shameful role" in the Egyptian crisis and of hypocrisy for supporting, then abandoning strongmen round the world.

Chavez said he had spoken to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and Syria's President Bashar al-Assad for a briefing on the protests in Egypt and elsewhere in the Arab world.

"In Egypt, the situation is complicated, Chavez said.

"Now you are seeing comments from Washington and some European nations. As President Gaddafi said to me, it's shameful, it makes you kind of sick to see the meddling of the U.S., wanting to take control."

The United States has urged an "orderly transition" to democracy in Egypt to avoid a power vacuum but has stopped short of calling on President Hosni Mubarak, an ally of three decades, to step down.

Chavez has generally cast himself as pro-Arab and opposed to Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and the policies of the United States.

But in brief comments carried on state TV, he avoided any further specific comment on Egypt, saying only that "national sovereignty" should be respected.

Chavez scoffed at what he said was the United States' chameleon-like foreign policy.

"See how the United States, after using such-and-such a president for years, as soon as he hits a crisis, they abandon him. That's how the devil pays," he said.

"They didn't even give a visa or anything to the president of Tunisia," he said, referring to President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, who lost power this month after failing to quell the worst unrest of his two-decade rule.

Washington and other Western powers have long been accused of using Arab dictators to halt Islamists gain power in the region.


Agencies

Last Mod: 31 Ocak 2011, 16:09
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