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Morsi: We support Syrian people, not their leaders
Photo: AFP
Bashar Assad
Photo: AP
Syria slams Egypt's decision to cut diplomatic ties
In wake of Morsi's decision to recall Egypt's diplomatic corps from Syria, close Syrian embassy in Cairo, Syria's information minister slams Morsi; 'One would have expected him to close the Israeli embassy,' he says
Syria's Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi attacked Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi Sunday, after the latter announced Saturday that Egypt was cutting its diplomatic ties with Syria.

 

"We would have expected Morsi to announce he is closing the Israeli embassy in Egypt, but these are the ways of a leader who refuses to accept such positions," al-Zoubai said, insinuating the Egyptian president has an affinity towards Israel.

 

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"The heretic project taking place in Egypt is part of the Zionist project," the information minister further said, adding that "Even before what happened in Qusair (the strategic city retaken recently by Assad loyalists and Hezbollah fighters), the Syrian Army and people decided that their fate was victory; now victory is becoming reality."

 


שגרירות ישראל בקהיר אחרי שהותקפה על ידי מפגינים (צילום: רויטרס)

Protesters attack Israeli's embassy in Egypt (Photo: Reuters)

 

Al-Zouabi stressed that the "The Syrian people, leadership and army are not afraid."

 

The minister even had a message for rebels, saying that "there is still an opportunity for the armed terrorists to surrender."

 

No place for Hezbollah

Addressing a gathering of Sunni Muslim clerics in Cairo, Morsi, an Islamist, said: "We decided today (Saturday) to sever all ties with Syria and with the current Syrian regime."

 

He also warned Assad's Hezbollah allies to pull back from fighting in Syria: "We stand against Hezbollah in its aggression toward the Syrian people," Morsi said, adding that "Hezbollah must leave Syria – these are serious words. There is no place for Hezbollah in Syria."

 

In effect, Egypt will return its diplomatic corps from Syria and the Syrian embassy in Egypt will be shut down.

 

"Egypt's citizens, and all of its political factions, both Muslim and Christian, stand with the Syrian people and against those currently controlling Syria.

 

"Syria," Morsi concluded, "we are at your command." During his announcement, Morsi also called for enforcing a no-fly zone over Syria.

 

Since taking power in Egypt, Morsi had held a tough, if not antagonistic stance in regards to the Syrian regime in general, and its leader, Syrian President Bashar Assad, specifically.

 

In the past, Morsi had even gone as far as calling on Assad to abdicate his presidency in the presence Syria's central ally, outgoing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

 

The event took place during a summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), held in Tehran last August, and it prompted the Syrian delegation to defiantly leave the hall in protest while Morsi was speaking.

 

Much like Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Morsi's comments in favor of the Syrian rebels have also earned him harsh criticism and unflattering nicknames at the hands of Syrian loyalists.

 

Meanwhile, King Abdullah II of Jordan said Sunday that "If the world does not help (Jordan) as it should, and if the matter (of Syria) becomes a danger to our country, we are able at any moment to take the measures to protect the country and the interest of our people," the king told military cadets at a graduation ceremony in southern Jordan, adding that in such a case, Jordan would come out victorious much like it had been in the past.

 

 

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