Mursi tells Syria rebels to unite

February 07, 2013 - 2:38:33 am



The Emir H H Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani with other leaders of member countries of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation in Cairo, yesterday.

CAIRO: Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi yesterday urged Syrian opposition groups to unify, as he addressed leaders of Islamic states at a summit that also focused on the battle against militants in Mali. 

The Emir H H Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani participated in the opening session of the 12th Islamic Summit in Cairo. The Prime Minister and Foreign Minister H E Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabor Al Thani also attended the session with a number of officials.

Speaking at the Summit, Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi urged Syrian opposition groups to unify, as he addressed leaders of Islamic states at a summit that also focussed on the battle against militants in Mali.

“The Syrian regime must draw lessons from history: it is the people who remain. Those who put their personal interests above the interests of their people will end up leaving,” Mursi told heads of state and representatives of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation in Cairo.

Among them was Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in the first visit to Egypt by an Iranian president since Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Iran is the chief regional backer of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad, while Egypt and Gulf powerhouse Saudi Arabia bitterly oppose Assad and support rebels seeking his ouster. 

Mursi called on opposition parties not allied to Syria’s National Coalition, which is recognised by the international community, “to coordinate with this coalition and support their efforts for a unified approach... for democracy.”

The meeting gathers leaders of 26 of the OIC’s 57 states, with Mursi, Egypt’s first Islamist president, assuming the organisation’s rotating presidency.

Though Syria is not represented at the conference, much of the debate was expected to focus on the conflict which the UN says has killed more than 60,000 people in less than two years.

According to a draft resolution obtained by AFP, the gathering will call for “serious dialogue” between the Syrian opposition and government officials “not directly involved in oppression.”

AFP/QNA

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