Mohamed Morsi, the new Muslim Brotherhood president of Egpyt, took a dig at a recent remark by President Obama and his White House’s subsequent attempt to explain away the gaffe.
Morsi poked Obama for his equivocating answer to a question about whether the United States and Egypt are allied countries. From The New York Times:
When asked if he considered the United States an ally, Mr. Morsi answered in English, “That depends on your definition of ally,” smiling at his deliberate echo of Mr. Obama. But he said he envisioned the two nations as “real friends.”
That’s not just an “echo” of Obama. Morsi also seems to be mocking the Obama team’s explanation of his comment. As White House Press Secretary Jay Carney explained, for instance: “The President, in diplomatic and legal terms, was speaking correctly, that we do not have an alliance treaty with Egypt. ‘Ally’ is a legal term of art.” Carney went on to add that “as the President has said, Egypt is a longstanding and close partner of the United States, and we have built on that foundation by supporting Egypt’s transition to democracy and working with the new government.”
The New York Times published Morsi’s interview yesterday. He traveled to New York City today for a United Nations meeting.