Leaders of Islamic nations called for a negotiated end to Syria’s civil war at a summit in Cairo that began on Wednesday, thrusting Egypt’s new Islamist president to center stage amid turbulence at home.
The summit of the 57-member Organisation of Islamic Cooperation opened on a day when the assassination of a leading Tunisian opposition politician highlighted the fragility of “Arab Spring” democratic revolutions in North Africa.
Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki canceled his trip to the Cairo meeting after Shokri Belaid, a staunch secular opponent of the moderate Islamist government, was shot dead outside his home, triggering street protests.
In a keynote address, Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi called on “the ruling regime” in Damascus to learn the lessons of history and not put its interests above those of the nation, saying that rulers who did so were inevitably finished.
Mursi urged all OIC members to support the Syrian opposition’s efforts to unite and bring about change.
Mursi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, sought to project his country as the leader of the Islamic world in his speech, seven months after becoming Egypt’s first democratically elected head of state.
He told the assembled kings, presidents and prime ministers that the “glorious January 25 revolution” that toppled Egypt’s autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011 “forms the cornerstone in the launching of this nation to new horizons of progress”.
Egypt is taking over the OIC chair…
Again, thanks to team Obama the Muslim Brotherhood is now as close as anyone to ruling the near-global caliphate.