It’s no secret that Egypt is going through a pretty turbulent transition right now. It’s also no secret that, poor world popularity notwithstanding, the US is a good friend to have. Egypt’s Mohammed Morsi put these two ideas together in a recent interview, saying that he believes his country and the United States can ultimately enjoy a genuine friendship with each other.
Morsi tells the New York Times that Egypt and the US could be “real friends,” but acknowledges the very real tensions that exist at the moment, which he blames on us. “Successive American administrations essentially purchased with American taxpayer money the dislike, if not the hatred, of the peoples of the region,” by supporting unpopular regimes like that of Morsi’s predecessor, Hosni Mubarak. Morsi says that the ball is in our court to repair the relationship.
Morsi will be stateside to attend the UN General Assembly, but won’t be stopping by the White House, reports the AP. Apparently, we had quite a chilly response to Morsi’s request for audience with President Obama. Makes sense, too, given reports that the POTUS had issued a fairly “blunt” call to Morsi, criticizing him for being slow to condemn US Embassy attacks in Egypt.
Morsi ultimately said that he “could never condone” the attacks in the region, but added that “we need to deal with the situation wisely.’
In a separate interview picked up by the ever-faithful al-Jazeera, Morsi talked about the unrest in Syria, singling out Iran as “a main player in the region that could have an active and supportive role in solving the Syrian problem.”
What do you think? In light of the US Embassy attacks and millions of “American taxpayer money” still pouring into struggling Egypt, is it on us to repair out relationship with Egypt? What do we get out of that friendship?