[QODLink]
Middle East

Egypt to re-evaluate relations with Syria

In first comments as foreign minister, Nabil Fahmy says Egypt supports Syrian uprising, but won't wage jihad in Syria.

Last Modified: 21 Jul 2013 05:27
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Supporters of the deposed president Mohamed Morsi continued their rallies overnight across the country [Reuters]

Egypt's new foreign minister has said that Cairo is re-evaluating its relationship with Syria following the military's toppling of president Mohamed Morsi.

In his first public comments since becoming Egypt's top diplomat, Nabil Fahmy said on Saturday that the country continues to support the Syrian uprising but that Cairo has no intention of waging jihad, or holy war, in Syria.

"There is no intention of jihad in Syria," Fahmy said, in reference to calls for a holy war in Syria under Morsi's presidency.

The new foreign minister said Morsi's decision to cut diplomatic ties with war-torn Syria would be "re-examined," while stressing that did not mean they would "resume or not resume".

Fahmy's comments signalled a shift from Morsi's approach.

Just weeks before Morsi was deposed on July 3, a senior presidential aide said authorities would not prevent Egyptians from travelling to Syria to join the rebel cause.

Morsi also attended a rally on June 15 in which hard-line Muslim leaders urged young Egyptians to go fight in Syria.

Speaking at the rally, Morsi announced he was severing diplomatic ties with Damascus.

Protesters press on

On Saturday, protesters demanding the ousted president's return pressed on after tens of thousands of his supporters and opponents rallied and clashes killed three people overnight.

Thousands of Morsi loyalists held a sit-in at Cairo's Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque from the morning, waving Egyptian flags and carrying portraits of the deposed leader.

"People power vs military might," read one banner.

The gathering comes amid heightened political tensions in Egypt, following a day of rival rallies across the country, the largest since the formation of a new government this week, which turned violent in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura.

Health officials on Saturday confirmed the three killed were all women, and gave a toll of 34 people wounded in Mansura, 23 of whom remained in hospital.

A pro-Morsi protester injured in the clashes said thousands of loyalists were marching through the city's narrow streets when "thugs" attacked them with guns, knives and rocks.

353

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
Spirits are high in Scotland's 'Whisky Capital of the World' with one distillery thirsty for independence.
President Poroshenko arrives in Washington on Thursday with money and military aid on his mind, analysts say.
Early players in private medicine often focused on volume over quality, turning many Chinese off for-profit care.
Al Jazeera asked people across Scotland what they think about the prospect of splitting from the United Kingdom.
Blogger critical of a lack of government transparency faces defamation lawsuit from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
join our mailing list