BEIRUT - Syria condemned on Thursday calls by Egypt's president for change in the country, which is battling a 17-month-old uprising against Bashar Assad, saying they amounted to blatant interference in its internal affairs.

The foreign ministry said President Mohamed Morsy's comments to a meeting of Arab ministers in Cairo were a "clear attack on the right of the Syrian people to choose their future by themselves, without foreign interference".

"What Morsy said is media incitement which aims to fuel the violence in Syria. This is no different from other governments who support the armed terrorist groups with money and weapons and training and shelter, making them partners in Syria's bloodshed," the foreign ministry statement said.

Egypt's new Islamist president said on Wednesday the time had come in Syria "for change and not wasting time speaking of reform."

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