Regional pressure mounted on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad Thursday, as Egypt's newly elected leader called Syria's government "oppressive" and urged it to transfer power to a democratic system.
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi speaking at the NAM summit
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi delivered his rebuke at a Non-Alignment Movement summit in Iran, one of Mr. Assad's staunchest supporters.
Mr. Morsi said the world has a moral duty to stand with Syria's people. He described the conflict as part of the revolutionary activity sweeping the region.
The Syrian delegation walked out in protest during Mr. Morsi's speech. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called for more action by NAM member nations to help resolve the conflict in Syria.
Iran and Syria say the uprising is separate from the Arab Spring and consists largely of foreign-backed "terrorists" acting on behalf of the U.S. and regional countries.
Later Thursday, the U.N. Security Council will meet to discuss Syria's humanitarian crisis. The council is deadlocked about taking strong action after Russia and China blocked three Western-backed resolutions that criticized Mr. Assad and threatened sanctions.
As fighting continues in Syria, rebels say they shot down a fighter jet in the northern province of Idlib near the Turkish border. The report could not be independently verified.
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