World reaction Thursday to the Egyptian military's toppling of the nation's first democratically elected president ranged from applause to calls for the return of Mohamed Morsy to power.
In a statement, the African Union said its chairwoman, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, was closely monitoring the developments in Egypt. "She is particularly concerned about the tension prevailing in the country and the risks that this situation poses to stability and security in Egypt as well as to the consolidation of its democratic process."
The AU's "principled position on unconstitutional changes of government" underscores the need "to find an appropriate response to the popular aspirations within the framework of legality and Egyptian institutions."
The union will send a group "of eminent African personalities" to Egypt to help initiate "a responsible and constructive dialogue that would help the fellow Egyptian people overcome the difficult situation they are facing."
"With great honor we take this opportunity to congratulate you on taking over the reins of power in Egypt at this important time in history," King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa said in a letter to Egypt's interim president, Adly Mansour, according to the official Bahrain News Agency. "We are confident that you will take the responsibility to achieve the aspirations of the Egyptian people."
Prime Minister David Cameron said his country "never supports intervention by the military" but does not condemn what happened Wednesday in Egypt or call for Morsy to be restored to power.
"But what now needs to happen ... in Egypt is for democracy to flourish and for a genuine democratic transition to take place and all the parties need to be involved in that. And that's what Britain and our allies will be saying very clearly to the Egyptians."
"What matters now is that the next elections are prepared in accordance with the civil peace, pluralism, individual freedoms and achievements of the democratic transition, so that the Egyptian people can freely choose their leaders and its future," a French Foreign Ministry spokesman said Thursday in a statement.
"We expect from the Egyptian authorities that Mohamed Morsy be treated with the respect due to the position he held.
"We reiterate our commitment to the pursuit of a political transition involving all political forces and sensitivities in respect of human rights and democratic principles, political pluralism and freedom of expression in accordance with the commitments taken."
"We do not fear the fall of President Mohamed Morsy," Hamas leader Ahmad Yousef told the Palestinian semiofficial Ma'an News Agency. Hamas is a militant fundamentalist Islamic organization that runs Gaza. "We fear the dramatic changes that could cause things to go out of hand and lead to bloodshed," Yousef said.
"We only care about stability in Egypt regardless of who is in charge. Egypt is a lifeline to us; it's a major factor in the stability of the internal Palestinian situation -- it is our backbone."
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Araqchi said Iran is concerned about the "continuance of clashes between the opposition and Morsy supporters," according to the semi-official Mehr news agency.
"Unfortunately, the unrest during last few days left several dead and injured, but Egyptians should be united and stop the violence," Araqchi told the news agency.
Shiite-led Iran appeared to welcome the ouster of Morsy, a Sunni. Araqchi said Iranian authorities welcomed the ouster of Hosni Mubarak as Egypt's leader in 2011 and hoped diplomatic relations would be restored between the two countries, but Morsy was critical of Tehran and did not allow it to appoint an ambassador in Cairo.
"In his name and the country's name, His Highness expressed his congratulations to the president of the Republic of Egypt, for taking the lead during the transitional and historical stage," the official Kuwait News Agency reported.
Prime Minister Tammam Salam cabled Adly Mansour to congratulate him for his appointment as Egypt's interim leader, the official National News Agency reported Thursday.