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Egypt's president takes break from domestic troubles to host Islamic summit


An Egyptian presidential guard soldier stands in front of flags of participating countries at the 12th summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013. The summit aims to address a wide range of issues including, Palestinian statehood, the Syrian crisis, poverty in the Islamic world and conflicts in Afghanistan and Somalia. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil) (The Associated Press)

Egypt's president is taking a break from mounting domestic troubles to host an Islamic summit that has, even before starting, laid bare divisions within the Muslim world.

Mohammed Morsi opens the summit on Wednesday, a day after his central bank reported another alarming drop in foreign currency reserves. The Islamist Morsi is also facing a seemingly endless wave of protests by an opposition that demands an end to what it describes as his efforts to monopolize power and advance the interests of his Muslim Brotherhood group.

The summit's most high profile participant, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was publicly warned on Tuesday against interference by Shiite Iran in the affairs of the mostly Sunni Gulf Arab nations. Egypt's most prominent cleric also urged Iran to halt efforts to spread Shiite Islam.