News / Middle East

    Egyptian Support for Syrian Rebels Still Words Over Action

    Egypt's Support for Syrian Opposition Is Verbiage Over Actioni
    X
    June 17, 2013 6:18 PM
    Egypt has further aligned itself with those trying to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. But as VOA's Elizabeth Arrott reports from Cairo, it remains unclear how far Egypt will back its words with action.
    Egypt's Support for Syrian Opposition Is Verbiage Over Action
    Elizabeth Arrott
    Egypt has further aligned itself with those trying to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. It remains unclear, though, how far Egypt will back its words with action.
     
    Syria's civil war has increasingly drawn in outsiders, from individual fighters to regional and international powers lining up on opposing sides. Egypt recently has stepped up its role, but the message appears mixed.

    President Mohamed Morsi has severed Egypt's already tenuous ties with Syria's government, a move denounced by Syrian officials as influenced by the United States and Israel.

    Morsi also lashed out at intervention by Lebanon's Hezbollah fighters on the side of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

    Speaking at a rally Saturday, he said Hezbollah must leave, adding “there is no space or place for Hezbollah in Syria.”
     
    The open presence of the Shi'ite militant group in Syria has highlighted the conflict's increasingly sectarian nature.
     
    Leading Sunni clerics meeting in Cairo last week denounced the presence of those they call “rejectionists.” And influential Egyptian Sheikh Youssef al Qaradawi urged Sunnis to wage jihad in Syria.
     
    An aide to Morsi said Egyptians are free to fight in Syria. Not all Islamist politicians in this predominantly Sunni country, however, agree that jihad is the answer.
     
    Mohamed Soudan, foreign secretary of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party [FJP], said, “They want to save the souls of the Muslims. But they should know that the other side is Muslim. So Muslims are killing each other,” said Soudan.
     
    Yet Morsi gave a stark warning. He said “the Syrian people are facing a campaign of extermination and planned ethnic cleansing,” which he argued was “fed by regional and international states who do not care for the Syrian citizen."

    It was a reference widely perceived to include Shi'ite Iran and the Syrian government's backers in Moscow, which raised questions about Morsi's call for a United Nations-backed no-fly zone. Veto-wielding Russia has made clear it would block such a move.

    Morsi, facing growing opposition at home, including planned demonstrations at the end of the month, has shifted his government's focus to international events in recent weeks, now with Syria, earlier with Ethiopia and its controversial dam project on the Nile.

    In his speech at the rally, though, the Egyptian leader gave no indication his government would send arms, let alone military personnel, to Syria, calling instead for talks.
     
    “The solution is to sit down, to force Iran to let Bashar [al-Assad] sit down to see a safe exit with his people and to save the Syrian people, not to escalate the war. We will lose more and more souls from both sides,” said the FJP's Mohamed Soudan.
     
    Calls for negotiations are almost as old as the war itself, now in its third year. Meanwhile, the rhetoric and acts of sectarianism grow, while solutions remain in short supply.

    You May Like

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora