CAIRO, July 13, 2012 (AFP) -
CAIRO, July 13, 2012 (AFP) –
The post-uprising presidents of Egypt andTunisia said at a news conference on Friday they backed the revolt in Syriabut they also opposed foreign military intervention against Bashar al-Assad.
Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi and his Tunisian counterpart MoncefMarzouki also expressed their support for the Palestinians, and called on thefeuding Fatah and Hamas factions to reconcile.
“We are with the Syrian people and their struggle and revolution,” saidMorsi, who was elected his country’s first civilian and Islamist presidentmore than a year after a revolt overthrew veteran dictator Hosni Mubarak.
“We are against foreign military intervention in Syria,” he added.Marzouki, who met Morsi in his Cairo headquarters before the newsconference, said military intervention aimed at stopping Assad’s crackdown on Syrian rebels and their supporters “would only make matters worse.”
Both presidents said they agreed on supporting the Palestinians, whosenegotiations with Israel for a state of their own are stalled amid Israeli settlement construction and Palestinian infighting.
“We agree on supporting the Palestinian cause and Palestinianreconciliation,” said Morsi, whose Muslim Brotherhood movement has historic ties with the Islamist Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip.
Hamas had hailed Morsi’s win in last month’s election against Mubarak’sformer prime minister Ahmed Shafiq, who was expected to follow the fallendictator’s example in favouring Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas’s Fatah.
Morsi said he “stood at the same distance from all Palestinian factions.” He did not say whether his government will ease border restrictions with Gaza, which Israel and Egypt partly blockaded after Hamas violently routed Fatah from the enclave in 2007.
Marzouki said he was “happy to see that the new Egypt will open its heart and borders to our brothers, especially in Gaza.”
In campaign speeches, Morsi supported the Palestinians’ “right to resistance” and their demand that refugees return to homes lost during the 1948 war that uprooted most Palestinians in Israel.
Since his election, he has adopted a more subdued tone, stressing that his government would respect Egypt’s 1979 peace treaty with Israel.