by Naharnet Newsdesk
by Naharnet Newsdesk
NEW DELHI, March 19, 2013 (AFP)
Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi called Tuesday for an urgent halt to the “bloodshed” in Syria after holding talks with Indian leaders in New Delhi.
Morsi, who arrived in India late Monday for a two-day visit, told reporters that the global community must work together to end the “bloodshed in Syria and find a peaceful solution”.
The statements by Egypt’s first democratically chosen leader came after talks with India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi.
Morsi’s tour started in Pakistan where President Asif Ali Zardari urged him to assist efforts to end the conflict in Syria that has claimed 70,000 lives and forced millions from their homes, according to U.N. figures.
Egypt has been a strong backer of the Syrian revolution, insisting President Bashar Assad’s administration has no place in Syria’s future.
Singh, whose government last month supported an Arab League proposal urging the Syrian president to quit, also condemned the violence in Syria.
Morsi’s appeal for an end to Syrian hostilities came as his own administration has been plagued by unrest and deadly clashes between protesters and police, blocking efforts to build support for a much-needed program of economic reform.
The main purpose of Morsi’s trip to India was to promote trade and investment in Egypt’s troubled economy, with the countries signing seven agreements to enhance trade ties in such sectors as communications, information technology and small-scale industries.
“Our economic partnership has rich possibilities,” said Singh, adding Egypt’s location works as a geographic bridge between Asia and Africa and makes it an attractive business destination for India.
Trade between the two countries has blossomed in recent years with India now Egypt’s seventh-largest trading partner. Bilateral trade totals $5.5 billion.
Morsi’s trip comes as Egypt battles to restore investor confidence after suffering a sharp economic downturn since the popular uprising that overthrew authoritarian president Hosni Mubarak in February 2011.