Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi publically supports Syrian rebels
Concerns that the Middle East is as divided as ever have grown after the Egyptian president, Mohamed Morsi, criticised Syria’s “oppressive” regime.
Morsi caused controversy by verbally supporting the Syrian people, who are currently struggling against their government. Morsi himself was brought to power through the events of the Arab Spring last year, a rolling movement across the Middle East during which civilians rose up against those in power to force out government leaders they believed to be corrupt and oppressive. Morsi is thought to believe the Syrian uprisings are an extension of the Arab Spring action.
The fury felt at the comments was clear when Syria’s delegation walked out of the conference room in which the statements were made.
The criticisms were made by Morsi during the first visit to Iran by an Egyptian leader since 1979 at the summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). NAM has 120 members and consists of nations which are thought to not be formally aligned to over major world powers. It aims to represent the political and economic interests of the developing world.
Host Iran was pleased to be accepted into NAM but holds a contrasting stance to Egypt in regards to Syria. Disliking the term “Arab Spring,” the Iranians have rebranded such events as part of an “Islamic Awakening” and do not include recent events in Syria as part of the continent’s recent political discourse.
Unlike Egypt, Iran has been vocal in its support of current Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. Such shows included visits to Damascus to show friendship to al-Assad, whose political regime has been accused atrocities including massacres and torture.
Although President Morsi said that Egypt was “ready to work with all to stop the bloodshed,” his actions were criticised as potentially inducing violence which could further the damages of the current Syrian civil war.
Civil unrest in Syria began on the 15th March, 2011 with public demonstrations largely considered to be part of the Arab Spring. As the conflict spread nationwide the country was declared to be in civil war in 2012. The protesters are demanding the resignation of President Bashar al-Assad and a subsequent end to Syria’s five decades of Ba’ath Party rule.