Morsi vows 'to stand by Palestinians without declaring any wars '
In a speech marking the Islamic Al-Adha Eid, President Morsi says he fully supports Palestinians' struggle against Israeli occupation; calls on Assad to stop bloodshed
Ahram Online, Hatem Maher, Thursday 25 Oct 2012
President Morsi delivers his first Eid Adha speech as state leader (snapshot: Nile TV)
President Mohamed Morsi on Wednesday said Egypt would do its best to support Palestinians in their struggle against Israeli occupation "without declaring war against anyone."
Morsi spoke on national television to mark Muslim's four-day Al-Adha feast, which starts on Friday.
"We will never accept any assault or siege on the Palestinian people. Egypt provides Palestine with all its needs such as food and clothing," he said.
"The blood of Palestinians is our blood, their life is our life and their pains are our pains. However, supporting Palestine does not mean that we will declare war against anybody," he added in reference to Israel, which he stopped short of calling it by name, maintaining the same pattern he has followed in his speeches since his inauguration as Egypt president.
A spokesman for the Hamas government in Gaza said earlier this week that Qatar would channel goods and material to build the strip, which is under Israeli siege, via neighboring Egypt.
Hamas, which has controlled Gaza since 2007, was boosted by the election of Islamist Morsi as Egypt president but the relationship between Hamas and Egypt was somewhat strained after the 5 August attack in Sinai when gunmen killed 16 Egyptian soldiers.
After the deadly incident, Egypt started to close smuggling tunnels along its border with the Gaza strip, prompting Hamas to ask Cairo for alternatives after losing their primary source of delivering goods to the enclave.
Morsi also had words of support for the Syrian revolution, where people and the regime have been locked in a 19-month conflict that the United Nations says has left around 30,000 people dead.
"The Syrian regime must stop the bloodshed, especially in Al-Adha feast," Morsi said.
"The Egyptian people are aware of their responsibilities toward towards their brothers. We never interfere in the affairs of any country, but we stand by the nations which seek to regain their rights and live a decent life."
Morsi took a swipe at critics of a cordial diplomatic letter the Egyptian presidency reportedly sent to Israel's president Shimon Peres last week.
"I'm not used to paying attention to trivialities and small things; you can find fabricated letters here and there but the Egyptian people know my true positions," he commented.
Morsi said he believes Egypt would not develop "unless people, Muslims and Christians, embrace faith."
"The Egyptian people, with the faith of Muslims and Christians, are capable of progressing, and they are already making that progress," he added.