Egypt's Morsi in Turkey: 'Arab Spring needs your support'
In first state visit to Ankara, Egypt's President Morsi calls on Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party to support Arab Spring, Palestinian national cause
Ahram Online, Sunday 30 Sep 2012
President Mohamed Morsi (Photo: AP)
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi on Sunday discussed several pressing regional issues in an address delivered at an annual conference of Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party.
"Our history, hopes and goals bind us together to achieve the freedom and justice that all nations are struggling for," Morsi said during a short visit to Ankara.
Morsi, on his first visit to Turkey as Egypt's president, urged members of the audience to support "the nations that are aspiring to freedom and independence."
Addressing the Turkish nation in general, Morsi added: "The Arab world and the Arab Spring need you and your support to achieve sought-for stability."
Egypt, he went on, "supports the demand of the people for freedom from oppression and occupation in both Syria and Palestine," stressing Turkey's role as an "important element" in issues of concern to the region.
Morsi also condemned the "misery" imposed on the Syrian people and the "bloodshed caused by the Syrian regime."
"The Syrian people have the right to choose their leaders," said the Egyptian president. "And this can only be achieved when they obtain their full freedom on their own soil and have our full support."
On the perennial issue of Palestine, Morsi expressed his hope for the eventual creation of an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem (Al-Quds) as its capital, urging his listeners to support the Palestinian national cause.
Morsi also stressed that the border between Egypt and the Hamas-run Gaza Strip remained open "to meet our obligations to our brothers in Gaza."
Hamas political chief Khaled Mashaal also attended the conference in Turkey, along with several members of the Gaza government.
"In Egypt, we aspire for stability, security and productivity," Morsi declared in his speech. "The Egyptian people are now on the path towards national revival and the establishment of a true civilization for the nation."
He went on to reject any outside interference in Egypt's domestic affairs.
Morsi's current visit to Turkey is seen as an attempt to strengthen the emerging alliance between two moderate Islamist governments. Morsi has frequently expressed his desire to learn from Turkey's political experience.
In early September, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu visited Egypt where he pledged $2 billion in financial assistance to Cairo to help boost the flagging Egyptian economy.