Middle East

International press blame US for embassy closures

Yemeni soldier searches a car on a street leading to the US embassy in Sanaa (4 August 2013)
Image caption The US state department described the extended closures as an exercise in caution

The decision to extend the closures of 19 US embassies and consulates in the Middle East and Africa until Saturday because of a possible threat is seen by commentators as a sensible precaution.

However, there is little sympathy for Washington's predicament from writers in the regions affected.

Egypt's Al-Ahram newspaper describes it as "the bitter harvest" of US policies. The Afghan daily, Hewad, wants to know why Washington does not rein in Pakistan, which it accuses of training terrorists.

Editorial in Oman's privately-owned, pro-government Al-Watan

This security alert and the closure of the Western embassies is not new, but by looking into the reasons which led to the emergence of the terrorism phenomenon and its spread... one does not need to think for long to reveal its reality. From a small plant sowed by the Americans in Afghanistan, this phenomenon has become a giant tree, or rather giant trees whose roots and branches extended to include the entire region and the entire world.

Editorial in Egypt's pro-government, largest circulation Al-Ahram

Washington and its President, Barack Obama, are bearing "the bitter harvest" of Washington's policies, which are sometimes arrogant and many times involve conspiracies against the region's Arab and Muslim nations... The weather is gloomy and carries a state of frustration against the Americans... and it seems that the twisted policies will not help Washington keep its friends, because even the Gulf has been rebelling publicly and asking it to stop interfering in the internal affairs.

Muhyi al-Din al-Muhammad in Syria's government-owned Tishrin

The US administration is trying to convince its citizens that it is in a state of war with al-Qaeda... But, such attempts will not succeed because the US citizen has physically felt this co-ordination and co-operation between the former US administrations on one side, and the al-Qaeda organisation in Afghanistan and elsewhere on the other, with the aim of targeting the [former] Soviet Union and keeping it away from the region.

Editorial in pan-Arab Independent Arab nationalist Al-Quds Al-Arabi

The US and its allies are surprised that the more they try to fight al-Qaeda by invading and subjugating countries as well as using force, the more the organisation and its command thrive and a solution for al-Qaeda fails... Members of al-Qaeda are not numbers that can just be erased and be rid of. They were created out of heinous policies that marginalise human beings and have left them with no choice but to despair, kill and commit suicide.

Sergey Strokan in Russia's influential business daily Kommersant

Al-Qaeda is preparing a series of attacks on US citizens across the Arab and Islamic world... The US authorities' first step was suspending the operations of 21 US diplomatic missions in countries of the Islamic world for two days... the list also includes countries of Central and South Asia, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. Putting the last two on the list of most dangerous places was surprising. As the date of the US contingent's 2014 withdrawal from Afghanistan is drawing closer, the US authorities have said time and time again that the security situation in the country is under control and terrorist activity is declining.

Andrey Chaplygin in Russia's liberal daily Novyye Izvestiya

As experts say, even if this is not an attempt to respond to actual information about impending terrorist attacks, the US fears cannot be described as unjustified... Experts attribute increased terrorist activity to a series of organised prison breaks in Iraq, Libya and Pakistan, which saw al-Qaeda members break free along with ordinary prisoners.

Dong Manyuan in Beijing's state-run newspaper China Daily

The main reason for al-Qaeda to launch attacks is its resentment against Washington's support for Egypt's interim government and the Egyptian military. The threat serves as a warning to the US and its allies in Europe... The key to easing "terrorism" in this region requires the US and its allies in Europe to change their "double standard" policy. However, since it is impossible for them to change it, the threat of attacks like today will persist for a long time.

Ye Hailin in Beijing's state-run newspaper China Daily

The turbulent situation in the Middle East provides the space that al-Qaeda and its branches need for further development, which prompts people to regain a clear understanding of Washington's role in this region. Instead of bringing tranquillity, stability and democracy to the area, the US is aggravating the instability there. The threat from al-Qaeda shows people's anti-American feelings and their demand for Washington's absence in this region.

Editorial in state-run Afghan daily Hewad

Though the Pakistani army gets privileges in the ongoing war against terrorism, it fails to fight terrorism... This comes at a time when the US, Britain and Germany have closed their embassies in some countries because of possible threats. But why do not these countries defeat dangerous terrorists who are openly trained in Pakistan and why do they not prevent Pakistan supporting them?

BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. For more reports from BBC Monitoring, click here. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.

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