Egypt: Zionism statements 'taken out of context', Morsi

President, we respect all monotheistic religions

16 January, 19:55

US Senator John McCain visits Egypt US Senator John McCain visits Egypt

(ANSAmed) - CAIRO, JANUARY 16 - The 2010 statements attributed to Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi on Israel and Zionism ''were taken out of context'', according to a presidential statement in reference to remarks criticised by the White House yesterday. The presidential statement - issued on the same day the Egyptian leader has met with Us republican senatore John MCCain - claims that Morsi was commenting on ''the Israeli attack on Palestinians'' in the Gaza Strip, and underscores the need to put the statements into ''their proper context''. In that speech, Morsi (at the time a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood movement) urged Egyptians to ''raise their children and grandchildren with hatred'' for Jews and Zionists. In a later televised interview, he went on to describe Zionists as ''bloodsuckers that attack Palestinians, warmongers and descendants of monkeys and pigs''. Today's statement went on to say that Morsi reiterated ''his firm commitment to respect monotheistic religions and freedom of worship,'' underscoring that Egyptians had approved the new constitution, which ''gives those belonging to monotheistic religions the right to citizenship and to make use of their own set of laws for personal matters''. Morsi reiterated the importance of creating strategic relations between Egypt and the US based on ''reciprocal respect and shared interests.'' Senator McCain, reported the statement, expressed his hope to receive Morsi at the US Congress during his visit to Washington.

The visit has long been planned but no date has yet been set.