President Mohamed Morsi sier det er opp til USA å forbedre forholdet til den arabiske verden. USA må respektere arabisk historie og kultur, sa Morsi til New York Times før han skulle reise til USA.
Det røper ikke akkurat stor diplomatisk kløkt at han bebreider USA for ikke å forstå arabisk kultur, noen dager etter at mobben har forsøkt å storme USAs ambassade. Morsi forholdt seg taus lenge, og når han uttalte seg var han mer opptatt av å fordømme videoen Innocence of Muslims enn å fordømme volden mot diplomater.
Det er en stolthet og selvrettferdighet i Morsis ord som neppe tiltaler amerikanerne. Vil Morsi spille for galleriet fremfor å komme på god fot med USA?
He said it was up to Washington to repair relations with the Arab world and to revitalize the alliance with Egypt, long a cornerstone of regional stability.
If Washington is asking Egypt to honor its treaty with Israel, he said, Washington should also live up to its own Camp David commitment to Palestinian self-rule. He said the United States must respect the Arab world’s history and culture, even when that conflicts with Western values.
And he dismissed criticism from the White House that he did not move fast enough to condemn protesters who recently climbed over the United States Embassy wall and burned the American flag in anger over a video that mocked the Prophet Muhammad.
“We took our time” in responding to avoid an explosive backlash, he said, but then dealt “decisively” with the small, violent element among the demonstrators.
“We can never condone this kind of violence, but we need to deal with the situation wisely,” he said, noting that the embassy employees were never in danger.
Det var lite forsonende eller angrende i Morsis uttalelser, lite som vitner om at han er seg bevisst at Egypt er helt avhengig av USA økonomisk. Stoltheten dominerer. Det er denne stoltheten som Obama ser ut til å ha tatt inn og som fikk ham til å si til en spansk tv-stasjon at han ikke lenger anser Egypt som en alliert.
He suggested that Egypt would not be hostile to the West, but would not be as compliant as Mr. Mubarak either.
“Successive American administrations essentially purchased with American taxpayer money the dislike, if not the hatred, of the peoples of the region,” he said, by backing dictatorial governments over popular opposition and supporting Israel over the Palestinians.
He initially sought to meet with President Obama at the White House during his visit this week, but he received a cool reception, aides to both presidents said. Mindful of the complicated election-year politics of a visit with Egypt’s Islamist leader, Mr. Morsi dropped his request.
His silence in the immediate aftermath of the embassy protest elicited a tense telephone call from Mr. Obama, who also told a television interviewer that at that moment he did not consider Egypt an ally, if not an enemy either. When asked if he considered the United States an ally, Mr. Morsi answered in English, “That depends on your definition of ally,” smiling at his deliberate echo of Mr. Obama. But he said he envisioned the two nations as “real friends.”
Morsi tok en doktorgrad ved University of California på 80-tallet. Man skulle tro det hadde gitt ham god kjennskap til USA og at han ville bruke denne kunnskapen til å charmere amerikanerne. I stedet opptrerer Morsi reservert og legger avstand til amerikanerne.
But he also displayed some ambivalence. He effused about his admiration for American work habits, punctuality and time management. But when an interpreter said that Mr. Morsi had “learned a lot” in the United States, he quickly interjected a qualifier in English: “Scientifically!”
He was troubled by the gangs and street of violence of Los Angeles, he said, and dismayed by the West’s looser sexual mores, mentioning couples living together out of wedlock and what he called “naked restaurants,” like Hooters.
“I don’t admire that,” he said. “But that is the society. They are living their way.”