by Staff Reporter
June 15, 2013 (TSR) – Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi on Saturday announced severing ties with Syria, shutting down the Syrian embassy in Cairo and withdrawing the Egyptian charge d’ affaires from Damascus, at a popular conference in Cairo aired on state TV.
Addressing a rally called by Sunni Muslim clerics in Cairo, the Islamist head of state also warned Assad’s ally, the Lebanese Shiite militia Hezbollah, to pull back from fighting in Syria.
“Hezbollah must leave Syria,” Morsi warned, “We reject any military or political interference in Syria whether by states or militants.”
The Egyptian president added that the country’s leadership, people and army are in support of the Syrian people, yet he stressed non-interference in the Syrian domestic affairs.
He called on the international community not to allow ” reproduction of repressive regimes,” urging a UN Security Council resolution for imposing a no-fly zone on Syria.
Saturday’s rally underscored the region’s deepening sectarian rift. A cleric who spoke before Morsi described Shiites as heretics, infidels, oppressors and polytheists. (Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, backs Hezbollah.)
The rally was also a show of support for Morsi as his opponents mobilize for protests to demand early presidential elections.
Morsi, whose Muslim Brotherhood has been financially supported by the Obama administration and Qatar, also urged world powers not to hesitate to enforce a no-fly zone over Syria.