Ferguson unrest: Egypt urges US to show restraint

Police in riot gear patrol the streets in Ferguson, Missouri - 18 August 2014 Heavily armed police wearing riot gear have become a regular sight on the streets of the St Louis suburb

Egypt's government has called on US authorities to show restraint against protesters in Ferguson, Missouri.

It said it was "closely following the escalation of protests" after the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white policeman on 9 August.

The statement echoes US President Barack Obama's comments during Egypt's crackdown on protesters in 2013.

Correspondents say the criticism is unusual since Egypt gets about $1.5bn (£1bn) in aid from the US every year.

President Obama is under increasing pressure to bring an end to the violent scenes in the St Louis suburb.

It is now 10 days since Michael Brown's death, which sparked mass demonstrations.

Jay Nixon, the governor of Missouri, has ordered the National Guard to support police operations, but violence flared again on Monday night, with law enforcement officers arresting 31 people.

Police officers point their weapons at demonstrators protesting against the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri - 18 August 2014 The unrest continued on Monday night, with police firing tear gas at crowds of demonstrators

The statement from Egypt's foreign ministry followed a similar call from United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon, who called on Missouri police to abide by "US and international standards".

Iran added its voice to the criticism, with Majid Takht-Ravanchi, the deputy foreign minister for European and American Affairs, saying the unrest was a sign of "the phenomenon of racism" in the West.

Meanwhile Chinese state news agency Xinhua said that despite the US playing the role of an international human rights defender, the clashes showed "there is still much room for improvement at home".

"Obviously, what the United States needs to do is to concentrate on solving its own problems rather than always pointing fingers at others," the Xinhua editorial added.

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