Zardari seeks Mursi's help in ending Syria bloodshed



Islamabad: President Asif Ali Zardari on Monday called on his Egyptian counterpart Mohamed Mursi to work closely with Pakistan to "end the bloodshed in Syria and find a peaceful solution to the crisis" in that country.

Zardari made the remarks during talks with Mursi, who arrived in Islamabad this morning ahead of a three-day official visit to India with a high-level delegation to promote trade and investment in Egypt.

"On the situation in Syria, President Zardari said Pakistan and Egypt should work together closely for the common good of the Ummah and for peace in our region. He urged for working together to end the bloodshed in Syria and to find a peaceful solution to the crisis," presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar told the media after the talks.

"Pakistan believes Syria's territorial integrity and sovereignty must be respected. Any outside interference would only complicate a complex situation and have serious consequences for neighbouring countries," Zardari said.

The "drive for peace in Syria must be led and owned by the Syrian people".

Pakistan is ready to play its role in finding a peaceful solution to the Syrian crisis, he said.

The conflict in Syria has killed 70,000 people and forced millions to flee their homes, according to the UN.

Mursi is visiting Pakistan at the invitation of Zardari. This is the first bilateral visit by an Egyptian leader to Pakistan since the 1960s, when Gamal Abdel Nasser travelled to the country.

Pakistan's Foreign Ministry described the visit as a "watershed and a landmark" in bilateral relations that would "give a new impetus to economic, trade and cultural relations".

Zardari held a one-on-one meeting with Mursi, followed by delegation-level talks at the presidency.

Discussing the regional situation, Zardari said the Muslim Ummah (brotherhood) "must shun differences and forge unity" at a time when the Muslim and the Arab world is facing "great challenges and witnessing changes".

PTI