Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) on Thursday defended the Obama administration's gift of four F-16 fighter jets to Egypt despite Egyptian President Mohammad Morsi's newly-surfaced comments referring to Israelis as "descendents of apes and pigs."
Kerry, during his confirmation hearing to be the next secretary of state, told Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) the foreign aid package was worked out in 2010 when Hosni Mubarak still ruled Egypt.
"The fact that sometimes other countries elect someone you don't agree with doesn't give us permission to walk away," Kerry said.
He called Morsi's comments "reprehensible" and "unacceptable by anyone's standard."
"Those comments set back possibilities of working towards mutual issues of mutual interest," he said. "They are degrading comments, they're unacceptable by anyone's standard and I think they have to be apologized for."
But he said despite Morsi's words, Kerry said the U.S. has a "critical interest" in Egypt -- hence following through on the aid package.
"Not everything lends itself to a simple classification, black or white," Kerry said. "We have critical interests with Egypt, critical interests. Egypt has thus far supported, lived by peace agreements with Israel and has taken steps to deal with the problem of security in the Sinai. Those are vital to us, our security interests and the security interests of Israel."
- Morsi Claims ‘Descendents of Apes and Pigs’ Remark Is Out of Context — As New Vid of Him Slamming Obama Surfaces
- Obama Administration Condemns Morsi’s ‘Deeply Offensive’ Anti-Israel Comments
- Muslim Brotherhood’s President Morsi in 2010: Israelis Are ‘Descendants of Apes and Pigs’, Boycott U.S. Goods
- Obama Admin Going Ahead with F-16 Shipment to Muslim Brotherhood-Ruled Egypt