Egypt cuts ties with Syria


Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi (L) speaks with Saudi Emir Mohammed Bin Saad Bin Abdulaziz, acting deputy Emir of the Riyadh region upon his arrival at Riyadh airport to attend the third Arab Economic, Social and Development Summit, on January 21, 2013 in Riyadh.



Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi on Saturday cut off diplomatic relations with war-ravaged Syria, according to the Associated Press

Syria is in the throes of a brutal civil war, with an estimated 80,000 people killed over the last several years in a conflict pitting President Bashar al-Assad's regime against an armed rebellion. 

International efforts to resolve the crisis have not been successful due to a standoff among world powers, who remain divided by their loyalty to various sides in the Syrian struggle. 

Morsi ordered the Egyptian embassy in Damascus closed and told thousands of people at a political rally on Saturday that he had pulled the nation's charge d'affaires from Syria, said AP

He also insisted that Lebanon's Hezbollah militant Islamic group stay out of the fighting in Syria, where they are believed aiding forces loyal to Assad. 

The move by Morsi comes days after the United States said it would start arming the rebels, justifying the intervention on reports of chemical warfare there. 

There is also growing concern that the violence in Syria will destabilize the region. 

As Reuters has it: 

No additional information was immediately available.