CAIRO - Egypt's President Mohammed Mursi has announced the "definitive" severing of relations with war-torn Syria, which is suffering from more than two years of civil war.

Egypt "decided today to definitively break off relations with the current regime in Syria, to close that regime's embassy in Cairo and to recall Egypt's charge d'affaires" from Damascus, Mursi told thousands of supporters in a Cairo stadium for a "Support for Syria" rally. Calling on the international community to impose a "no-fly zone" over Syria, Mursi also said he had made "contact with Arab and Muslim states to organise an emergency support meeting" for the Syrian people.  Meanwhile, the Syrian govt also condemned Egypt's decision to cut ties with Damascus and back the armed uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, calling it an "irresponsible" move.

"The Syrian Arab Republic condemns this irresponsible position," an unnamed Syrian official told state news agency SANA.

The official said Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi had joined the "conspiracy and incitement led by the United States and Israel against Syria by announcing the cutting of ties yesterday".

"Syria is confident that this decision does not represent the will of the Egyptian people," the official added, accusing Mursi of announcing the severing of ties to deflect attention from internal crises.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia plans to supply the Syrian opposition with anti-aircraft missiles to counter President Bashar al-Assad's air force, German news weekly Der Spiegel reported Sunday. The article, citing a classified report received by the German foreign intelligence service and the German government last week, said Riyadh was looking at sending European-made Mistral-class MANPADS, or man-portable air-defence systems.

Der Spiegel noted the shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles can target low-flying aircraft including helicopters and had given mujahideen fighters in Afghanistan a decisive edge against Soviet troops in the 1980s.

Saudi Arabia is a key supporter of the Syrian rebels and has long advocated providing them with better weaponry.

Washington vowed last week to send military aid to rebel forces trying to unseat Assad after saying it had proof that the regime had crossed a "red line" by using chemical weapons on a small scale.

The European Union lifted an embargo on arming the Syrian opposition last month, paving the way for greater Western support for rebels in a civil war that has claimed 93,000 lives.