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article imagePresident Morsi debuts at UN

By Layne Weiss     Sep 26, 2012 in World
New York - On Monday, Egypt's new President Mohammad Morsi embarked on his first journey to the United States since being elected in June. He will be giving a speech at the United Nations on Wednesday.
Morsi's address will be watched closely by world leaders in an attempt to determine his democratic intentions and plans for Egypt, such as lifting the country out of "crippling poverty," The AP reports.
Morsi, an Islamist, and key figure in the Muslim Brotherhood was officially recognized as the newly elected President of Egypt this past June. He won the first competitive election in Egypt.
Former US President Bill Clinton spoke at the UN General Assembly Tuesday. President Morsi addressed the violence in the Middle East that has sparked due to an anti-Muslim film produced in the US, and said that expression of freedom must come with "responsibility," The AP reports.
Morsi was responding to President Obama's speech Tuesday in which he called the film "disgusting," but also defended the US' Constitutions right to free speech.
While not divulging specific details on what limits should be placed on free speech, Morsi said that the anti-Muslim film, which shows the Prophet Muhammad having sex and ordering massacres, and the violent reaction to it could not be ignored. He said when freedom of speech hurts peace and stability, and incites violence and unrest, the perpetrators must take responsibility.
Morsi called the film a work of "religious defamation," The Egyptian Gazette reports.
Morsi did, however, condemn the violent reactions to the film.
On September 11, militants attacked the US consulate in Benghazi,Libya. killing US Ambassador Christopher Stevens and 3 other Americans.
That same day, radical Islamic protestors also stormed the US Embassy in Cairo. Relations between the US and Egypt have been rocky ever since.
Many are speculating that Morsi will adress the US' unconditional support for Israel in his speech. He will be distancing himself from the pro-US polices of his predecessors, and will attempt to portray Egypt as a powerful global player,The Global Post reports. He will not be meeting with President Obama.
Before leaving for his trip to the United States, Morsi warned the US that putting Israel's interests ahead of Palestinian independence has only worsened the Arab world's view of the US and has created a deep anti-American sentiment, The Telegraph reports.
In an interview with CBS This Morning's Charlie Rose, Morsi tried to explain Egypt's relationship with the United States. He said they weren't enemies, they were definitely friends, but he's not sure he'd call them allies. It depends on your definition of the world "ally." If by ally, you mean nations engaged in a military alliance, then Morsi would have to say the US and Egypt are not allies, but if ally means a "partnership and special relationship," Morsi believes the two nations are allies.
Morsi is not the first Arab leader making his first appearance at the UN General Assembly this week. According to The AP, Yemen's President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who took office in February, is also there.
He has called on the UN to give Palestine membership and to support a change of power in Syria.
On Wednesday, UK Prime Minister David Cameron met with both Morsi and Libya's President Mohammed Yousef el-Magarief in separate meetings Wednesday.
In an attempt to "woo" these leaders, Cameron pledged to release "frozen financial assets and property in the UK tied to deposed regimes," The AP reports.
Cameron told President Morsi he would try to release $160 million of assets connected to ousted Egyptian ruler Hosni Mubarak.
Mosi and Cameron also discussed the UK's head of armed forces, General David Richards visiting Cairo to discuss possible British training for Egypt's military.
Cameron and Morsi also joked about the failure to keep time at the UN General Assembly. Cameron explained to the UN newbie that "you never quite know when you are going to make your speech."
More about President Morsi, United Nations, francois hollande, Prime Minister David Cameron, Speech
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