Morsi cuts Egypt's Syria ties, backs no-fly zone

By REUTERS
June 15, 2013 23:29




CAIRO- Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi said he had cut all diplomatic ties with Damascus on Saturday and called for a no-fly zone over Syria, pitching the most populous Arab state firmly against President Bashar Assad.

Addressing a rally called by Sunni Muslim clerics in Cairo, the Sunni Islamist head of state said: "We decided today to entirely break off relations with Syria and with the current Syrian regime."

He also warned Assad's allies in the Iranian-backed Lebanese Shi'ite militia Hezbollah 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."

Morsi, who faces growing discontent at home over the economy and over fears that he will pursue an Islamist social agenda, said he was organizing an urgent summit of Arab and other Islamic states to discuss the situation in Syria, where the United States has in recent days decided to take steps to arm the rebels.


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