In a move that threatens to strain ties between Egypt and France, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi said Monday he was against the French military intervention in Mali, saying it could create further unrest in the region.
Egypt’s President Mohammed Morsi has broken ranks with the international community at large over France’s intervention in Mali, saying he was opposed to the action out of fear it would sow seeds of unrest in the region.
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“We do not accept at all the military intervention in Mali because it will fuel conflict in the region,” Morsi said.
A member of Egypt’s powerful Islamist Muslim Brotherhood movement, Morsi’s comments are likely to sour the mood with France ahead of his planned visit to Paris on February 1.
Members of the international community distanced themselves from the Egyptian president’s stance, offering their support, if not troops, to France.
Algeria, which has been loath to back a UN-approved African-led military intervention in Mali in the past, reiterated that it was against putting its own soldiers on the ground, but also said that the “integrity of Mali has to be preserved”.
Morsi's statement came as Malian and French troops appeared to have recaptured the central towns Diabaly and Douentza from Islamist militants, halting their advance towards the south.
(FRANCE 24 with wires)
Date created : 2013-01-22