President Mohamed Morsi of Egypt, a former leader of the Muslim Brotherhood , has dictated terms of Middle East peace to the U.S. just ahead of a U.N. meeting in New York.
Americans “have a special responsibility” for the Palestinians because the United States signed the 1978 Camp David accord, said Morsi in an exclusive interview with the New York Times.
That agreement, signed by Democrat president, Jimmy Carter, called for the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the West Bank and Gaza to make way for full Palestinian self-rule.
Since Washington “is asking Egypt to honor its treaty with Israel,” Morsi said the United States “must respect the Arab world’s history and culture, even when that conflicts with Western values.”
Morsi ignored criticism from the White House that suggested the former Muslim Brotherhood chief failed to protect the United States Embassy in his country recently when protesters climbed over its walls, tore down the American flag, and burned it, supposedly in anger of 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, said Morsi, according to the Times.
Morsi, 61, will be in New York on Sunday to speak at a United Nations General Assembly meeting.
Morsi signaled anything but better relations with the U.S.
“If you want to judge the performance of the Egyptian people by the standards of German or Chinese or American culture, then there is no room for judgment,” he said. “When the Egyptians decide something, probably it is not appropriate for the U.S. When the Americans decide something, this, of course, is not appropriate for Egypt.”
In the New York Times interview, Morsi was asked if he considered the United States an ally. Morsi answered in English,
“That depends on your definition of ally,” he said.
“I grew up with the Muslim Brotherhood,” said Morsi. “I learned my principles in the Muslim Brotherhood. I learned how to love my country with the Muslim Brotherhood. I learned politics with the Brotherhood. I was a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.”
The U.S. gives Egypt $1.5 billion in foreign aid each year.