Egypt’s new president Mohamed Morsi on Monday described the relationship between the U.S. and Egypt as somewhere between friends and enemies, pointing to President Obama’s remarks that the two countries are not allies.
When asked by CBS’s Charlie Rose how he would characterize U.S.-Egypt relations, Morsi was evasive. He said that the two countries are not enemies, but he would not necessarily consider the U.S. an ally.
“This is dependent on the definition of an ally,” Morsi told Rose on CBS This Morning, speaking through a translator. “The understanding of an ally as a part of a military alliance, this is not existent right now. But if you mean by allied partnership and special diplomatic relationship and cooperation, we are that ally.”
Morsi’s remarks were in response to Obama’s comments on the Spanish-language station Telemundo last week, when he said that “I don’t think that we would consider [Egypt] an ally, but we do not consider them an enemy.” The president’s statement was a reaction to demonstrations outside the U.S. Embassy in Cairo last week.
The State Department later amended the president’s statement, saying that Egypt is considered a major non-NATO ally.