Sep 14, 2012 4:13 PM GMT
When you've lost the Germans...
US embassies in the Muslim world were on high alert Friday following days of violent protests against an anti-Islam film. Germany, too, closed several embassies in fear of attacks. Some German commentators argue that the violence shows that Obama's Middle East policies have failed.
After days of protests over an anti-Islam film, American diplomatic missions in the Middle East and North Africa were braced for further violence after Friday prayers. The US put its overseas missions on high alert.
Germany has closed its embassies in a number of Muslim-majority countries in fear of attacks. "We are observing how the security situation develops with great attentiveness and we have increased security precautions at a number of foreign missions," a spokesman for the German Foreign Office told SPIEGEL ONLINE. Embassies in North Africa, Afghanistan and Pakistan are believed to be among those affected.
The spokesman said that the missions would only close on Friday, though. Other German institutions such as aid organizations have also been urged to increase security precautions, he said.
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said he was "deeply concerned" about the attacks on US embassies. He called on the countries in question to protect foreign missions. "Diplomats have to be able to do their work without fear," he said.
Westerwelle said he could understand the outrage that many Muslims felt about the anti-Islam film. "But this outrage cannot justify violence."