Before embarking on his first visit to America since becoming Egypt's first freely elected president, Mohammed Morsi says the U.S. need to change their approach to the Arab world and respect their values.
In an interview with the New York Times, the Islamist president said Washington in the past earned ill will in the Middle East by backing dictators but now he envisions the two countries being 'real friends.'
And Morsi, who is heading to New York early Monday to attend the U.N. General Assembly meeting, emphasised that Washington should live up to its Camp David commitment to Palestinian self rule.
He argued that Americans have 'a special responsibility’ towards the Palestinians due to the Camp David accord. Signed by the U.S. in 1978, the agreement called for the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the West Bank and Gaza to make way for full Palestinian self-rule.
He also said that the United States should not judge Egypt by its own standards - an apparent reaction to resentment in the Muslim country against an anti-Islam video produced in the United States.
He defended himself against the White House accusations that he didn’t condemn protestors quickly enough after they scaled the U.S. Embassy wall and burnt the American flag in reaction to the video, which mocked the Prophet Muhammad.
‘We can never condone this kind of violence, but we need to deal with the situation wisely,’ he told the paper.