Morsi blasts Assad

2012-09-05 20:13
Mohammed Morsi (AFP)

Mohammed Morsi (AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • Egypt
    This book is jam packed with all the fascinating facts and information you need to know about Egypt. Now R149.00
    buy now

Cairo - Egypt's president gave his first major foreign policy speech on Wednesday, telling the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad to step down before it is too late, warning Iran against interfering in Arab affairs and voicing support for Palestinian efforts to gain full membership status at the United Nations.

Addressing an Arab foreign ministers' meeting in Cairo, Mohammed Morsi outlined the foreign policy objectives of his administration, more than two months after he took office as the nation's first freely elected and civilian president.

His comments appeared to signal his bid to move Egypt assertively as a leader in the Middle East after what many Egyptians say was a more diminished role under his predecessor Hosni Mubarak that allowed non-Arab powers like Turkey and Iran to wield influence over the region.

Mubarak was overthrown in early 2011 in a popular uprising. After 17 months of military rule, Morsi defeated Mubarak's last prime minister in a presidential election and took office in June.

Morsi, an Islamist who hails from the country's largest political group, the Muslim Brotherhood, has chosen foreign policy as the forum to make his mark as the new leader of the most populous Arab nation and, in theory, the region's traditional powerhouse.

He started off in Tehran, Iran, last month with a surprisingly hard-hitting speech during a summit meeting of the so-called Non-aligned Movement. He voiced his support for Syrian rebels against the "oppressive" regime there.

His Tehran comments took on added significance because there were made in Iran, Assad's closest ally and his regime's main foreign backer.

Morsi continued in the same vein on Wednesday.

"I tell the Syrian regime that there is still a chance to halt the bloodshed," said Morsi. "Don't listen to the voices that tempt you to stay because you will not be there for much longer. There is no room for further delaying a decision that will stop the bloodshed."

The people have decided

"It's too late to talk about reform, this is the time for change. The Syrian regime must learn from recent history," he said. He was alluding to the fate of authoritarian regimes in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and Yemen that have been overthrown by Arab Spring uprisings.

The Syrian conflict began nearly 18 months ago with mostly peaceful protests demanding the ouster of Assad, who succeeded his father, Hafez Assad, in 2000. The uprising later morphed into a civil war as the opposition took up arms in response to the regime's use of violence to quell the protests.

At least 20 000 people have been killed since the uprising began in March 2011, according to anti-regime activists.

"Everyone must realize that the Syrian people have made their decision and that decision must be implemented through change," said Morsi.

Without mentioning Iran by name, Morsi said there can never be any co-operation between the Arab world and neighbouring nations except on the basis of "a clear and candid declaration of respect for the sovereignty of Arab nations and non-interference in their affairs."

In lambasting Iran, Morsi has placed Egypt firmly in the camp of Gulf Arab nations led by Saudi Arabia, which see Shiite and Persian Iran to be meddling in their affairs and a threat to their security. The United Arab Emirates, for example, accuses Iran of illegally occupying three islands it claims as its own.

Bahrain says Iran is encouraging the Shiite majority in the tiny island nation to rise up against the ruling Sunni minority family for more rights.

On the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Morsi said Israel was "systematically" not showing seriousness toward efforts to reach a settlement.

"We need to provide our Palestinian brothers with the necessary support to reach a just settlement," he said. Morsi also labelled as a "fair demand" the Palestinian diplomatic drive to win full membership status at the United Nations.

Israel, which Morsi did not mention by name, is opposed to those Palestinian efforts, arguing that such a move would hinder negotiations to reach a settlement.

- AP

Read more on:    mohammed morsi  |  bashar assad  |  egypt  |  syria  |  syria conflict
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
13 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

Zuma: Pray for peaceful polls

President Jacob Zuma has asked members of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God to pray for peaceful elections on 7 May.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Friday Grabouw - 11:32 AM
    Road name: N2 Eastbound
    DELAYS between Sir Lowrys Pass and Grabouw
  • Friday Cape Town - 10:14 AM
    Road name: M3 Inbound
    EVENT - left lane closed between Rhodes Avenue and UCT
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Canon EOS 600D

The Canon EOS 600D Digital Camera puts the widely respected...

From R5389.95

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may find yourself putting in that extra effort on looking good and making an impression. ...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.