Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
Homechevron_rightWorldchevron_rightEgypt leader slams...

Egypt leader slams Syrian regime during Iran visit

Egypt leader slams Syrian regime during Iran visit

Tehran: Egypt's new president described the Syrian regime as "oppressive" and called for it to transfer power to a democratic system during a visit to Syria's key regional ally Iran Thursday.

President Mohammed Morsi's visit to Iran is the first by an Egyptian leader to the Islamic Republic in decades. It represents a major thaw in relations between the two regional powerhouses following Morsi's election win in June in the aftermath of the country's 2011 uprising. But the two countries remain deeply divided over the situation in Syria.

Tehran cut ties with Egypt following Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution. Under Morsi's predecessor Hosni Mubarak, Egypt sided with Saudi Arabia and other Sunni-dominated Arab states in trying to isolate Shiite-led Iran.

Morsi is Egypt's first freely elected president, as well as the first civilian and the first Islamist to hold the office. In his opening remarks at a summit of the 120-member Nonaligned Movement in Tehran, the Egyptian leader gave credit to the Arab Spring wave of uprisings which put him in power and which have touched off a civil war in Syria.

Morsi's Sunni Muslim Brotherhood backers, Egypt's most powerful political group since the revolt, are opposed to Shiite Iran's staunch backing of the Syrian regime and its lethal crackdown on largely Sunni protesters.

"We should all express our full support to the struggle of those who are demanding freedom and justice in Syria and translate our sympathies to a clear political vision that supports peaceful transfer (of power) to a democratic system,'' Morsi said in his opening statement.

Morsi slammed Syrian President Bashar Assad's rule, saying that the world had a "moral duty'' to stand with the Syrian people in their struggle "against an oppressive regime that has lost its legitimacy.''

He said having a democratic system in Syria "reflects the desire of the Syrian people for freedom, justice and equality and at the same time protects Syria from entering into a civil war or being divided by sectarian clashes.''

Morsi also called for uniting the Syrian opposition, which is fractured and has itself not been able to coalesce and agree on a clear transitional roadmap for Syria post-Assad.

The Egyptian president expressed Cairo's readiness to work with all parties to stop the bloodshed and "agree on a clear vision on which the new free Syria will be based.''

He has, in the past, spoken out against international military intervention in Syria.

Morsi has proposed the formation of a four-nation contact group that would include Egypt, Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia to mediate an end to the Syrian crisis. The proposal though faces deep divisions, with Iran vowing that it will not abandon Assad, and the Syrian rebels fighting the regime saying they reject Iran's participation in any mediation.

"The bloodletting in Syria is the responsibility of all of us and we should know that this blood cannot stop without an active interference by all of us to stop this,'' Morsi said. "The Syrian crisis is bleeding our hearts.''

Egyptian officials have said they do not expect top-level bilateral meetings with their Iranian counterparts during his visit.


Show Full Article
Next Story