REUTERS, AL JAZEERA (Qatar)
The Syrian delegation walked out of the 16th Non-Aligned Movement summit in Tehran, after Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi called Bashar al-Assad's government an "oppressive regime" in his speech, Al Jazeera reports.
Speaking to representatives of more than 120 countries, Morsi said: "Our solidarity with the struggle of the Syrian people against an oppressive regime that has lost its legitimacy is an ethical duty, as it is a political and strategic necessity," adding that "the bloodshed cannot stop without effective interference from all of us."
Al Jazeera's Imran Khan, reporting from the summit that takes place once every three years, said: "Morsi's comments have caused an unease feeling, especially for the Iranians who are close to Syria."
The crisis in Syria is on the ambitious agenda of the two-day summit, together with the question of human rights and nuclear disarmament.
Morsi is the first Egyptian leader to visit Iran since its Islamic revolution in 1979, Reuters reports, adding that diplomatic relations between Cairo and Tehran broke down after Iran's revolution over Egypt's support for the overthrown Shah and its peace agreement with Israel.
Morsi is transferring leadership of the Non-Aligned Movement to Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. This 16th NAM summit, which lasts from August 26 to 31, gathers representatives from more 120 countries that consider themselves not aligned with or against any major power bloc.