Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has strongly opposed any form of foreign military intervention in Syria, stressing that his country seeks a peaceful solution to the unrest in the Arab country.
Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011. Damascus says outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorists are behind the unrest while the opposition accuses the security forces of killing protesters.
The Syrian government says that the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and that there are reports that a very large number of the armed militants are foreign nationals.
“The time has come for everyone to realize that war do[es] not achieve stability, because peace is based on justice and comprehensive peace for everyone, without any side attacking the other,” the 61-year-old Egyptian leader said.
“We will never be a party to an attack on any side and we will never accept anyone threatening our security or the security of the region for one reason or another," he added.
In a recent statement, Morsi said he plans to form a regional contact group including Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, to find a way to end the violence in Syria and meet people’s demands.
Press TV has conducted an interview with Dr. Kevin Barrett, the author and Islamic studies expert in Montana to further discuss the issue.
What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.
Mr. Barrett, thank you very much for joining us on Press TV’s world news. If you can discuss a little bit the Egypt-Syria relations and especially right now with the current unrest with President Morsi discussing how he wants a peaceful unrest and he does not believe that military action is needed and that he believes President Bashar al-Assad should stay in power.
Yes, I think that it is wonderful that President Morsi is speaking out and he is shaping up to be an honest leader which is a new thing for Egypt and it is great that he is standing up against foreign military intervention.
And, I think his prescription for change in Syria is probably correct, that is a kind of gradual and negotiated transformation of power or a kind of a reformation of the system because I think the opposition in Syria or at least some members of the opposition have made a terrible mistake when they chose to start a civil war rather than patiently working for gradual change and reform.
Had they stuck with the peaceful path, I think it would be very hard to argue against them, but unfortunately they made alliances with these outsiders, the US, Saudi Arabia, the Israelis, the Zionists, and foreign fighters, and that transformed the whole landscape and took away whatever kind of moral arguments they had.
I think as a result of that mistake at this point, we’re going to have to stand up for a gradual negotiated settlement rather than allowing this foreign supported civil war to destroy Syria.
Now, we know that Egypt and Israel have traditionally had tense relations. At this stage how does Egypt’s national interest conform with those countries allied to the US? Especially since the US has blatantly said they will continue to supply weapons to terrorists and armed forces in Syria and definitely want President Bashar al-Assad to be removed from power absolutely?
Well, Egypt’s national interest, it’s real national interests are diametrically opposed to the forces that are sponsoring civil war in Syria. Egypt’s national interests like the true national interests of everybody in the region is in peace and stability and harmony and peacefully working out the differences.
The national interests - or the apparent national interests of the extremist Zionists is to break up all of these Middle Eastern countries into pieces to destabilize them, to foster armed gangs, revolutions, schisms along sectarian lines, along ethnic lines, break these countries up into small miniaturize Balkanized mini-states that could never pose any threat to Israel. That’s their foreign policy.
And every other state in the region should be opposing that. Unfortunately, the [Persian] Gulf sheikhdom led by the Saudis had made a terrible mistake by aligning themselves with the US Zionist axis, and if they were to succeed, they would be the next victims. Actually, the Zionists would be breaking up the Arabian Peninsula into a hundred little sheikhdoms.
So, I think that President Morsi is standing up for the true national interests of both Egypt and every other country in the region.
Now hypothetically, if Mubarak was still in power in Egypt, would it be a different situation with regards to Syria at this point?
Well, I think Mubarak was largely a puppet of the US Zionist axis. So he probably would have been cooperating with the NATO and Israeli forces that are fomenting the war in Syria.
It is ironic because many of these forces are so-called al-Qaeda, Sunni extremist militias that are supposedly the ultimate enemy of the West’s war on terror. But it is actually the West that has created this enemy and is supporting this enemy, and is now sending this supposed enemy against the Syria.
I think it is great that Egypt has a President who’s not playing that game anymore.