Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first Islamist and democratically elected president, believes that America must drastically change the way it views the Arab world if there is any hope for improved relations. Morsi is making his first visit to the United States as president this weekend, and he isn’t mincing words. The Egyptian president told The New York Times that “successive American administrations essentially purchased with American taxpayer money the dislike, if not the hatred, of the peoples of the region.” He also defended himself against recent White House criticism that his government didn’t act quickly enough when protesters breached the U.S. Embassy in Cairo last week. “We can never condone this kind of violence, but we need to deal with the situation wisely,” he said. President Obama recently commented on strained relations with Egypt, saying, “I don’t think that we would consider them an ally, but we don’t consider them an enemy.” Morsi will be in New York for the United Nations General Assembly this week.
FOREIGN RELATIONS Khaled Desouki, AFP / Getty Images