Bildt may have been crowned “most connected world leader on Twitter” in a recent Twiplomacy review, but it appears he has not been busy making friends online in recent days. The minister suggested on Twitter that Egyptian security forces would have to be held accountable for the recent spate of violence following the president’s ouster.
“I’m horrified by the large number of dead in the demonstrations in Egypt. Security forces can’t avoid responsibility,” the former prime minster tweeted to his 216,000 followers.
But the suggestion that the police had been untoward in their handling of large numbers of protesters riled Egyptian diplomat Osama Elmagdoub, who replied later to Bildt and suggested that the Swede didn’t understand what what was going on.
“It is horrifying, however these were not peaceful innocent civilians but armed mob. I guess hard for Swedes to understand,” he tweeted.
Bildt sarcastically replied; “So they all shoot themselves? Try another one…”
Elmagdoub hit back, saying that he “never said so. When police is shot at, what should they do? Protest is different from shoot out.”
He continued the row by criticizing the Swedish police. “Swedish police shot and killed 69-year-old man for carrying a knife,” he tweeted in reference to the police shooting that set off unrest in the Stockholm neighbourhood Husby earlier this year.