US condemns comments by Egypt's Mursi in 2010 as Islamist leader

WASHINGTON Tue Jan 15, 2013 1:22pm EST

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WASHINGTON Jan 15 (Reuters) - The White House on Tuesday strongly condemned comments that Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi was reported to have made in 2010 when he was a Muslim Brotherhood leader and which were widely regarded as anti-Semitic in nature.

White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters that the language Mursi had used was "deeply offensive" and that U.S. officials raised concerns with the Egyptian government on the matter.

Nearly three years ago, Mursi, as an Islamist political leader, delivered a speech urging Egyptians to "nurse our children and our grandchildren on hatred" for Jews and Zionists, the New York Times reported. In a television interview months later, he described Zionists as "these bloodsuckers who attack the Palestinians, these warmongers, the descendants of apes and pigs," the newspaper said.

Carney noted, however, that Mursi, as president, had helped broker an Israeli-Hamas ceasefire in Gaza and had promised to uphold Egypt's peace treaty with Israel.

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