Egypt has no intention of waging Syria 'jihad': Nabil Fahmy

Reuters , Sunday 21 Jul 2013

Morsi's decision to cut all diplomatic ties to Damascus is 'under review' as Egypt's new foreign minister expresses support for 'Syrian people and their aspirations for freedom'

Egypt's Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy (Photo: AP)

Egypt has no intention of a waging a holy war against Syria, but still supports the Syrian peoples' hopes for freedom, newly installed foreign minister Nabil Fahmy said on Saturday.

The Muslim Brotherhood movement of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi last month joined a call by some Sunni clerics for a jihad against the Syrian government and its Shia allies.

Signalling a different approach, Fahmy told reporters: "There are no intentions for jihad in Syria."

However, he made clear that Egypt still supported change in Syria, where rebels are battling to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad in a civil war that has killed more than 90,000 people.

"We support the Syrian people and their aspirations for freedom," Fahmy, a former Egyptian ambassador to the United States, told a news conference.

Morsi, deposed on 3 July and detained by the army, said last month that he had cut all diplomatic ties with Damascus and backed a no-fly zone over Syria, pitching the most populous Arab state more firmly against Assad.

Fahmy said there was no change to this decision, but that it was under review.

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