Egypt has no intention of waging Syria 'jihad': Foreign minister

Egypt has no intention of waging Syria 'jihad': Foreign minister

CAIRO - Reuters
Egypt has no intention of waging Syria jihad: Foreign minister

Egyptian newly-appointed Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy looks on waiting before a meeting at the foreign ministry headquarters in Cairo on July 17. AFP photo

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 Juy 20.

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 Shi'ite 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. 

"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 July 3 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.