Egyptian Foreign Minister (archives)
Photo: AFP
Turkish FM Ali Babacan (archives)
Photo: AFP

Egypt to Nasrallah: Our forces can defend nation

In response to Hizbullah head's speech citing Egypt as accomplice to 'Gaza crime' Foreign Minister Aboul Gheit says Nasrallah wants chaos to serve 'interests not for good of the region'. Meanwhile Turkish FM says ending indirect talks between Israel and Syria due to Gaza operation

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit slammed Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah at a joint press conference with his Turkish counterpart Ali Babacan in Ankara on Monday.


Commenting on Nasrallah's speech Sunday in which he accused Egypt of being an accomplice in the "Gaza crime", and similar accusations made by other bodies, Aboul Gheit said, "They have actually declared war on Egypt through a few satellite channels. The Egyptian people reject this statement and object to it."


Referring to Nasrallah, Aboul Gheit continued, "One of those who spoke yesterday said 'Dear Egyptian people, take to the streets and cause chaos'. They want chaos in Egypt similar to what they have caused in their country.


"This man (Nasrallah) spoke of Egypt's armed forces. These honorable armed forces are meant to protect Egypt and if he does not know that, I am telling him: No and no!


"The honorable armed forces are capable of defending this homeland from people like you. You want to create chaos in this region as a service to interests that are not for the good of this region."


Aboul Gheit continued to say that "the situation in the region is a very dangerous one. Egypt on its part has condemned and is condemning to the fullest extent the military operation against the Gaza Strip.


"Egypt completely objects to the military operations Israel is now carrying out against the Palestinians in Gaza. Egypt has a special responsibility towards the Palestinian problem and the Gaza Strip.


"Egypt has succeeded in bringing about a truce for six months. We warned that both parties were mobilizing towards a conflict, and there was much evidence to that effect in Israeli declarations and in Israeli media."


In response to accusations of cooperating with Israel, Aboul Gheit said, "We tried to prevent the escalation by hosting the Israeli foreign minister to tell her, 'Don't attack the Gaza Strip'. But, unfortunately, what happened happened, the question is what can we do about it now?


"We must immediately stop the fighting and the military operations. This must be stopped and quickly. The Israeli war machine must be stopped and calm must be restored.


Israel-Syria talks abandoned

Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan warned that the situation in Gaza would not remain solely Gaza's problem for long and could have consequences on the entire region.


Babacan urged Israel to cease military activity in Gaza and called on Hamas to stop its attacks on Israel. The Turkish FM also urged Israel to allow the entrance of humanitarian aid to the Strip and renew the truce between the parties.


"We are continuing efforts to put an end to this suffering and will support all efforts to that effect.


The two countries have already sent humanitarian aid to the Strip, which was transferred in trucks through Kerem Shalom crossing Monday.


Babacan said his country was ending efforts to organize peace talks between Israel and Syria because of the Israeli operation in the Gaza Strip.


"The continuation of the talks under these conditions is naturally impossible," Babacan said.


"To make war on the Israeli-Palestinian track and at the same time make peace on the Israeli-Syrian track. These two cannot go together," he added.


AFP contributed to this report


פרסום ראשון: 12.29.08, 15:05
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