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Cairo — He worked with U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration to help broker a ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas in Gaza late last year.
The U.S. delegation, led by Senator John McCain, said it had expressed strong disapproval of Mursi’s remarks about Jews.
“We had a constructive discussion on this subject,” said McCain. “We leave it to the president to make any further comments on this matter that he may wish.”
Senator Richard Blumenthal said they had “expressed our view in no uncertain terms” and that Mursi’s remarks “counter the goal of the friendship between our two peoples”.
Mursi told the delegation he was committed to freedom of religion and belief, his spokesman said, adding: “his Excellency (Mursi) pointed out the need to distinguish between the Jewish religion, and those who belong to it, and violent actions against defenceless Palestinians.”
White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Tuesday that the language Mursi used was “deeply offensive” and that U.S. officials had raised its concerns with Egypt’s government.
Carney called on Mursi to “make clear that he respects people of all faiths and that this type of rhetoric is not acceptable or productive in a democratic Egypt.”