Arab countries call on Morsi to step down, issue travel warnings

Ahram Online, Wednesday 3 Jul 2013

Neighbouring Arab countries call for end to turmoil in Egypt while others issue travel warnings and call on their citizens to leave

Arab countries call on Morsi to step down, issue travel warnings
Saudi Arabia's Grand Mufti, Sheikh Abdulaziz Al-Sheikh (Photo: Ahram)

As Egypt braces for different political scenarios, Arab and global responses to the current deadlock varied.

A fierce opponent to the Muslim Brotherhood, Syria's Information Minister Omran Al-Zohbi cited Morsi's departure as the only exit for a president spoken against by the "vast majority" of his people.

"Those who are loyal to the (Egyptian) nation should side by the people and against the terrorism of the Muslim Brotherhood" movement from which Morsi hails, he said, according to Reuters.

Zohbi's comments reflect longstanding animosity between the Shia Syrian regime and the Sunni Brotherhood.

Remaining largely silent until Wednesday, Saudi Arabia's Grand Mufti, Sheikh Abdulaziz Al-Sheikh, called on intellectuals and the Egyptian population "to resolve the problems with wisdom and reflection, to suppress bloodshed," Reuters quoted him as saying.

He also urged both sides of the conflict to reach a compromise on the crisis.

Kuwait issued warnings against travelling to Egypt while asking its citizens to leave the country as soon as possible, becoming the first Arab country to do so.

Britain also advised against travelling to Egypt, with the exception of a few holiday reports, but is still deliberating on calling back its citizens.

Millions flooded Egypt's streets since 30 June, prompting the army to issue a 48-hour ultimatum amid escalating nationwide protests.

The army's intervention set off alarm bells regarding Morsi's inability to appoint a power-sharing government. 

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