President Mohamed Morsi said in an interview with Reuters News Agency on Monday 27/8/2012 that the security situation in Sinai aims at establishing internal and external security of Egypt.
The military campaign was in "full respect to international treaties", he said. The Egypt-Israel peace deal includes limits on Egyptian military deployment in Sinai.
During his interview, Morsi gave a particularly strong call for Assad to be removed from power. It is a message he will take on his trip to Iran and China, which, along with Russia, are the main countries backing Assad.
Some quotes from the interview:
- "Now is the time to stop this bloodshed and for the Syrian people to regain their full rights and for this regime that kills its people to disappear from the scene," Morsi said.
- "Egypt is now a civilian state ... a national, democratic, constitutional, modern state," he told Reuters in his first interview with an international news organization.
- "International relations between all states are open and the basis for all relations is balance. We are not against anyone but we are for achieving our interests, said Morsi.
- He indicated that Egypt's neighbor had nothing to fear from a new military campaign in the Sinai Peninsula, which he ordered after gunmen attacked an Egyptian border post, killed 16 guards and tried to burst across the frontier into Israel.
- "Egypt is practicing its very normal role on its soil and does not threaten anyone and there should not be any kind of international or regional concerns at all from the presence of Egyptian security forces," he said, referring to the extra police, army and other forces moved to the area.