BOCA RATON, Fla. — Despite the fact that the new president of Egypt was a high-ranking leader of the virulently anti-American and anti-Israel Muslim Brotherhood, former Minnesota Republican Sen. Norm Coleman said a President Mitt Romney would consider Egypt an ally and that the governor doesn’t have “any reason to anticipate” that the Islamist leader of Egypt would renege on his country’s peace treaty with Israel.
“Yea, Egypt is an ally,” Coleman, a Romney surrogate, confirmed to The Daily Caller in the spin room after Monday night’s final presidential debate, after TheDC noted Egypt was listed as one of the 42 countries Romney referred to as American allies during the debate.
“But even with your allies sometimes you have to say ‘you know something, if you’re going to be a close ally, there are certain things you need to do. You need to make sure that the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt is respected, that the rights of women are respected.’ Egypt is an ally, there’s no question about that. But even with our allies, you know, you’ve got to talk to them at times and make sure they remain allies.”
Considering Egypt’s recent behavior, including its failure to protect the U.S. embassy in Cairo from rioters on Sept. 11 and its president’s failure to speak out against the incident for two days, TheDC asked what Egypt would have to do to get itself removed from Romney’s list of American allies?
“One of the central things that is most critical for Egypt is to maintain the peace treaty with Israel,” Coleman said. “That’s central.”
Since even before Israel was officially declared a state in 1948, the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood has been ardently opposed to Israel’s existence. The organization’s offshoot in the Palestinian territories is the terrorist group Hamas, which has a founding charter that not only calls for the destruction of Israel but the mass slaughter of Jews.
Current Egyptian President Mohammad Morsi was a high-ranking leader of the Muslim Brotherhood before he was selected by the group to be the presidential candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood-backed Freedom and Justice Party. Since winning the Egyptian presidency earlier this year, Morsi has not called for the Camp David Accords to be annulled. He was, however, recently caught on camera mouthing “amen” when an imam called for the destruction of the Jews. And earlier this month, the Muslim Brotherhood’s spiritual leader, Mohammed Badie, said, “The jihad for the recovery of Jerusalem is a duty for all Muslims.”
Nonetheless, Coleman said Gov. Romney has no reason to believe that Egypt would break its peace treaty with Israel.
“I don’t think the governor at this point has any reason to anticipate that they would not [keep the treaty],” Coleman said. “But I can assure you that if he is President of the United States, he will do all in his power to make sure they do.”
The question of whether Egypt is still an American ally came to the fore in September, after the American embassy in Cairo was attacked without the Egyptian government intervening to stop the assault. Shortly after the incident, President Obama said in an interview: “I don’t think that we would consider them an ally, but we don’t consider them an enemy.”
The administration later backtracked somewhat from that position. Officially, Egypt is considered a major non-NATO ally.
When Romney referred to America’s 42 allies during Monday night’s debate, he was referring to the 27 other countries that comprise NATO and the 15 countries officially designated as major non-NATO allies by the United States, Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul told TheDC in an email.