|Scooped by Egypt-actus|
(Reuters, via Aswat Masriya) - The United States on Thursday called an Egyptian statement about religious tolerance "a good first step" but said Egypt must do more after vitriolic comments about Zionists made by President Mohamed Mursi in 2010 surfaced.
The comments, made by Mursi when he was a leading figure in the Muslim Brotherhood opposition movement, sparked strong condemnation by the U.S. State Department and an explicit demand that he "repudiate" them.
Mursi's comments were reported this week by The New York Times, which said it had obtained video of a 2010 speech in which he urged Egyptians to "nurse our children and our grandchildren on hatred" for Jews and Zionists.
In a TV interview that the paper said he made months later and that Reuters viewed on YouTube, Mursi described Zionists as "these bloodsuckers who attack the Palestinians, these warmongers, the descendants of apes and pigs."
Egyptian authorities subsequently issued two statements, the first of which said the comments were taken out of context, but stressed Mursi's commitment to full respect for religions and freedom of belief and worship.
The second statement said the Egyptian government rejects "all forms of discrimination and incitement to violence or hostility on the basis of religion."
The second statement appeared to have gone some way toward mollifying the United States but there were lingering concerns.