Syria mocks Egypt Muslim Brotherhood model
DAMASCUS - The Muslim Brotherhood has proven a failure in Egypt, Syria's Information Minister Omran al-Zohbi said on Monday, as Egyptian protesters demonstrated for a second consecutive day against Islamist President Mohamed Morsi.
"It is clear the Muslim Brotherhood is incapable... of running the state in Egypt. Their model has failed forever," Zohbi said at a press conference broadcast by Syrian state television.
"The Muslim Brotherhood's regime in Egypt is dead, but the death certificate has not yet been published," the minister said.
There is long-standing animosity between the Syrian regime and the Muslim Brotherhood, and membership in the group has been punishable by death in Syria since the 1980s.
The Brotherhood today plays a key role in the exiled opposition National Coalition, which is recognised by more than 100 states and organisations as legitimate representative of the Syrian people.
A year on from taking power in Egypt, "they have managed to demolish... the state's reputation", said Zohbi.
Egypt's opposition Monday gave Morsi a day to quit or face civil disobedience.
The Egyptian health ministry said 16 people died on Sunday in nationwide protests against Morsi, including eight in clashes between his supporters and opponents outside the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in Cairo.
Zohbi meanwhile lashed out against the group for "destroying national unity" in Egypt.
The minister also slammed Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a moderate Islamist and key backer of the uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
In Turkey, Erdogan is also facing a wave of protests demanding his resignation.
Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) "has set a bad example in running the state", said Zohbi.
Turkey is hosting some 400,000 Syrian refugees who have fled the 27-month conflict back home.
It also serves as the opposition's rear base.
The uprising against Assad began in March 2011, with peaceful anti-government demonstrations but became an armed insurgency after a brutal crackdown by the regime.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights watchdog says more than 100,000 people have been killed in the country's war.