Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi said he had cut all diplomatic ties with Damascus on Saturday and demanded Hezbollah leave Syria, pitching most populous Arab state more firmly against President Bashar Assad.
Addressing a gathering of Sunni Muslim clerics in Cairo, the Islamist head of state said: "We decided today to entirely break off relations with Syria and with the current Syrian regime."
- Egypt's Morsi backs calls for Assad war crimes trial
- Report: US to supply Syrian rebels with munitions
- Former UN monitor calls for Syria no-flight zone
He also warned Assad's allies in the Iranian-backed Lebanese Shi'ite militia to pull back from fighting in Syria: "We stand against Hezbollah in its aggression against the Syrian people," Morsi said. "Hezbollah must leave Syria - these are serious words. There is no space or place for Hezbollah in Syria."
Mohamed Morsi urged world powers not to hesitate to enforce a no-fly zone over Syria.
In his address, Morsi repeated the allegation that Egyptians loyal to the now-ousted regime of autocrat Hosni Mubarak were behind the planned protests and that they were working against the January 2011 uprising that toppled Mubarak. As customary since taking office, he spoke of himself as a guardian and protector of the revolution, an assertion hotly disputed by his critics.
"Some who are delusionary want to pounce on the January revolution and think that they can undermine the stability that is growing daily or undermine the resolve that people have clearly forged with their will," said Morsi.
"We will deal with them decisively and there will never be a place for them among us," he told his supporters.
AP contributed to this report
- Receive Ynetnews updates
directly to your desktop