Egypt's Islamist President Dictates Terms for US-Arab Relations

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi says US must show greater respect for the values of the Arab world and build a Palestinian state in order to soothe "decades of pent-up anger."

Before arriving in New York on Sunday, Morsi tried to schedule a meeting with President Obama. But when Obama didn't show interest in the two leaders spending time together, Morsi went around the White House to dictate these terms to the American media.

Morsi says the the anger in the Arab world and the geopolitical tensions between Arab nations and non-Arab nations are Washington's problem to fix. He suggests a step toward fixing those things is "respecting the Arab world's history and culture, even when it conflicts with Western values."

He also added that it's unrealistic to expect Egypt to live by US rules, saying his government would not be hostile to the West, "but would not be as compliant as [President] Mubarak had been either." 

Morsi says that if Egypt is judged by the standards of "American culture," then the judgment will be of no value. He elaborated on this point by saying, "When the Egyptians decide something, probably it is not appropriate for the US. When the Americans decide something, this, of course, is not appropriate for Egypt."


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