U.S. warns Morsi over anti-semitic video rant

Published January 16th, 2013 - 07:43 GMT
Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi poses prior to a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister in Cairo. (AFP PHOTO / KHALED DESOUKI)
Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi poses prior to a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister in Cairo. (AFP PHOTO / KHALED DESOUKI)

The United States has official distanced itself from anti-sematic remarks by Egyptian President  Mohamed Morsi, in video aired on Friday.

The incident was filmed, and recently aired by the satirist Bassem Yousef although Morsi made the comments three years ago, when he was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, prior to taking office.

In a press conference yesterday, U.S. State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said, “The language that we’ve seen is deeply offensive,” adding “we think that these comments should be repudiated, and they should be repudiated firmly.” 

The video shows Morsi addressing an audience in his home town in the Nile Delta region and urged people to raise their children to “have a hatred of Jews and Zionists”. 

In a different clip, Morsi described Israel as "blood suckers and war mongers, and descendants of pigs and apes," in reference to the Israeli blockade of the Gaza strip.

Morsi became Egypt’s first democratically elected president after the 2011 revolution, causing some concern in the West that the peace agreement with Israel could be rescinded. Egypt remains one of only two Arab nations to have signed a peace accord with Israel. Since coming to office, Morsi has reaffirmed his support for the agreement. 

The US is already withholding $1 billion in aid to Egypt and Nuland added that Congress would be watching Morsi closely.

Whitehouse Spokesman Jay Carney said "President Morsi should make clear that he respects people of all faiths and that this type of rhetoric is not acceptable or productive in a democratic Egypt,"


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