Published time: June 15, 2013 19:11
Edited time: June 15, 2013 21:19
Egypt has decided to cut all ties with Syria, close the embassy in Cairo and withdraw the Egyptian envoy from Damascus, said Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi. He also urged the international powers to impose a no-fly zone over Syria.
“We have decided to close down the Syrian embassy in Cairo,” said Morsi during a conference of Sunni Muslim clerics in support of the Syrian uprising at Cairo Indoor Stadium, according to local newspaper Ahram online. “The Egyptian envoy in Damascus will also be withdrawn.”
The decision comes into effect Saturday.
The President added that Hezbollah, the Shiite Islamic militant group based in Lebanon.
“We stand against Hezbollah in its aggression against the Syrian people,” Morsi said. “There is no space or place for Hezbollah in Syria.”
Hezbollah fighters have reportedly been fighting alongside Syrian pro-government troops against the opposition forces in the ongoing conflict.
Addressing the massive crowd at the stadium, the Egyptian president said “the Egyptian people support the struggle of the Syrian people, materially and morally, and Egypt, its nation, leadership … and army, will not abandon the Syrian people until it achieves its rights and dignity.”
Morsi urged the international powers not to hesitate to enforce a no-fly zone over Syria. His supporters chanted: “From the free revolutionaries of Egypt: We will stamp on you, Bashar!”
The US has been giving consideration to the issue of setting up a no-fly zone across Syria and possibly along Jordan’s border after claims that nerve gas was used by the Syrian government, sources told Reuters.
“Washington is considering a no-fly zone to help Assad’s opponents,” a senior diplomat told the agency.
But Russian Foreign minister Sergey Lavrov has stressed that any attempt to establish the no-fly zone would be a violation of international law.
“There have been leaks from western media regarding the serious consideration to create a no-fly zone over Syria through the deployment of Patriot anti-aircraft missiles and F-16 jets in Jordan,” Lavrov said. “You don’t have to be a great expert to understand that this will violate international law.”