After President Obama said this week that Egypt is neither an ally nor an enemy, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said Sunday that Egypt remains a “critical partner” of the United States.
Rice was responding to comments Obama made earlier this week during an interview with the Spanish language network Telemundo, during which he was asked about the U.S. relationship with Egypt after the change in leadership there and in the wake of last week’s violence in Egypt, Libya and other countries in reaction to an anti-Islamic video produced in the U.S.
Rice, appearing on ABC’s This Week program, said Egypt remains a “critical partner of the United States and always has been.” She added that the relationship, “remains the same and the president wasn't signaling any change.”
When asked if the United States is powerless to stop such attacks, Rice rejected such a view. She noted that Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has responded to calls from Obama and has taken “dramatic stems” to improve security at the U.S. embassy in Cairo and to convey the message that there is no justification for such violence.
Rice also said she did not believe the violent demonstration in Libya, which led to the death of four American diplomats, reflected any hatred toward the United States.
“We are quite popular in Libya, as you might expect, having been a major partner in their revolution,” she added.
In responding to a similar question on CNN’s State of the Union, she also said she believed that relations with Muslim countries have improved since Obama came into office.
But during a later appearance on the same show, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani dismissed this claim. “America is no more popular in the Middle East then it was four years ago,” he said.