Former President Jimmy Carter says he disagrees with President Obama’s assessment this week of Egypt’s relationship to the United States.
The Democrat addressed students and faculty at Drake University in Des Moines Thursday. During a forum focused primarily on social justice issues, Carter was asked if he agrees with President Obama’s statement that Egypt is neither an ally nor an enemy.
"No, I think Egypt is an ally of the United States," Carter says. "We know Egypt well."
Carter says he knows Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and believes he’s committed to peace with Israel, supporting women’s rights, and promoting a democratic government.
In an interview with the Spanish-language network Telemundo Wednesday night, President Obama said, quote, “I don’t think that we would consider them an ally, but we don’t consider them an enemy.”
The State Department later clarified that Egypt is a “major non-NATO ally.” And a White House spokesman called Egypt a “longstanding and close partner of the United States.”