The Syrian government has condemned Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi for severing the two Arab nations' diplomatic ties. Morsi had also called for the implementation of a no-fly zone over Syria.
Damascus on Sunday accused Egypt of involvement in a foreign conspiracy against Syria, calling Cairo's decision to sever diplomatic ties "irresponsible."
On Saturday, President Morsi (pictured above) told thousands of supporters in a Cairo stadium that Egypt would close its embassy and recall its charge d'affaires from Damascus. The Egyptian president condemned Hezbollah's military intervention in Syria, and said that he had made "contact with Arab and Muslim states to organize an emergency support meeting."
"Hezbollah must leave Syria," Morsi said. "This is serious talk: There is no business or place for Hezbollah in Syria."
He also called on the international community to establish a no-fly zone over Syria. Damascus said on Sunday that Morsi's call for a no-fly zone violates Syrian sovereignty and "serves the goals of Israel and the United States."
Jordan vows to defend itself
Meanwhile, King Abdullah II told a crowd of graduating military cadets on Sunday that Jordan was prepared to defend itself against any threats emanating from the civil war in neighboring Syria.
"If the world does not help as it should, and if the matter becomes a danger to our country, we are able at any moment to take the measures to protect the country and the interest of our people," King Abdullah told military cadets at a graduation ceremony in southern Jordan.
Jordan currently hosts more than 429,000 Syrian refugees who have fled the conflict in their homeland. King Abdullah said the he was "working to secure international financial assistance to cover the costs of hosting the refugees."
On Saturday, the US Defense Department announced that its F-16 warplanes and Patriot missile interceptors would remain in Jordan after joint military exercises with the Arab kingdom this month.
slk/jm (AP, AFP, Reuters)