Egypt's President Mohamed Morsy in Tehran 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Syrian delegation at a Non-Aligned Movement summit in Tehran
Thursday walked out during a speech by Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy,
who described the Syrian government as "oppressive," Al Jazeera
The Arabic satellite channel did not give
further details in its brief headline and it was not immediately clear
if the delegation returned after Morsy's speech finished.
criticized the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad in his speech
at the summit being held in Iran, a steadfast ally of Assad. Morsy said
it was an "ethical duty" to support the Syrian people against the
"oppressive regime" in Damascus.
"We all have to announce our
full solidarity with the struggle of those seeking freedom and justice
in Syria, and translate this sympathy into a clear political vision that
supports a peaceful transition to a democratic system of rule that
reflects the demands of the Syrian people for freedom."
Morsy arrived in Tehran earlier Thursday, the first Egyptian leader to visit Iran since its Islamic revolution in 1979.
Iranian state television broadcast live pictures of Morsy's red-carpet welcome at Tehran's Mehrabad Airport.
has presented its tenure of the movement as the failure of the United
States to isolate it from the rest of the world, a message its most
powerful figure, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, pressed home in an address to
around 35 visiting heads of state on Thursday morning
relations between Cairo and Tehran broke down immediately after Iran's
revolution over Egypt's support for the overthrown Shah and its peace
agreement with Israel.
As president, Morsy has so far refused to
address the issue of whether ties would be upgraded with Iran, but has
indicated he would pursue a more balanced foreign policy.
say Morsy's brief visit is designed to avoid any snub to Iran but
improving relations with Tehran in the near future would send the wrong
message to the United States and Israel.
Last week, Morsy spoke
of forming a contact group to resolve the crisis in Syria, comprising
Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabi and Turkey, an initiative the Iranian
leadership is keen to pursue.