Cairo, Sept. 23: Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has said that the United States needs to fundamentally change its approach to the Arab world and show greater respect for its Islamic values and help build a Palestinian state, if it hoped to overcome decades of pent-up anger.
During his visit to the United States, Morsi gave a 90-minute interview with the New York Times to introduce himself to the Americans and to revise the terms of relations between Cairo and Washington.
He said it was up to Washington to improve relations with the Arab world, and to revitalize the alliance with Egypt, long a cornerstone of regional stability.
If Washington is asking Egypt to honor its treaty with Israel, he said, Washington should also live up to its own Camp David commitment to Palestinian self-rule.
He said the United States must respect the Arab world’s history and culture, even when that conflicts with Western values.
According to the report, he dismissed criticism from the White House that he did not move fast enough to condemn protesters who recently climbed over the United States Embassy wall and burned the American flag in anger over a video that mocked the Prophet Muhammad.
“We took our time” in responding to avoid an explosive backlash, he said, but then dealt “decisively” with the small, violent element among the demonstrators.
“We can never condone this kind of violence, but we need to deal with the situation wisely,” he said, noting that the embassy employees were never in danger.
He suggested that Egypt would not be hostile to the West, but would not be as compliant as Mubarak either.
“Successive American administrations essentially purchased with American taxpayer money the dislike, if not the hatred, of the peoples of the region,” he said, by backing dictatorial governments over popular opposition and supporting Israel over the Palestinians. (ANI)