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

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead More

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.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid