Egypt's Morsy tries to ease hateful Zionist remarks
CAIRO — Egypt's Islamist president sought on Wednesday to defuse Washington's anger over his past remarks urging hatred of Jews and calling Zionists “pigs” and “bloodsuckers,” telling visiting U.S. senators that his comments were a denunciation of Israeli policies.
Both sides appear to want to get beyond the flap: Mohamed Morsy needs America's help in repairing a rapidly sliding economy, and Washington can't afford to shun a figure who has emerged as a model of an Islamist leader who maintains his country's ties with Israel.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said a congressional delegation he led that met with Morsy expressed to him its “strong disapproval” about his 2010 comments. The delegation and Morsy had a “constructive discussion” about the remarks, he told reporters.
Still, despite calls by some in Washington to rein in aid to Egypt's Islamist-led government, McCain said the delegation will press in Congress for approval of some $480 million in new assistance to Cairo.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., also in the delegation, warned that “the Egyptian economy is going to collapse if something is not done quickly.” He urged Morsy to finalize a repeatedly delayed deal with the International Monetary Fund for a $4.8 billion loan.
The flap was a new twist in Morsy's attempts to reconcile his background as a veteran of the Muslim Brotherhood, a vehemently anti-Israeli and anti-U.S. group, and the requirements of his role as head of state, which include keeping a strategic relationship with Washington.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.