- Associated Press - Sunday, July 7, 2013

LONDON (AP) — Mideast envoy Tony Blair has defended the Egyptian army’s ouster of President Mohammed Morsi, saying the alternative would have been chaos.

Calling himself a “strong supporter of democracy,” Blair, a former British prime minister, said democracy is not a substitute for decision-making or a guarantee of effective government.

Acknowledging that millions of protesters on the streets are “not the same” as an election, he called the protests an “awesome manifestation of power” and show of “free democratic spirit.”

In a column published Sunday in the Observer newspaper, Mr. Blair said the military had been confronted with the choice of intervention or chaos and insisted it is in the international community’s best interest to engage with Egypt’s new government.

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