'Pharaoh' Mohamed Morsi praises Obama as being 'very, very helpful'
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, currently under fire for appointing himself as 'Egypt's new pharaoh' after giving himself sweeping powers to oversee the country's political transition, has praised US President Barack Obama.
"President Obama has been very helpful, very helpful," Morsi told Time Magazine, adding: "And I can say really that his deeds coincide with his intentions."
Morsi, an important interlocutor with Hamas, spoke repeatedly with Obama as the parties worked to cement the ceasefire in Gaza, Politico reports.
"We've been talking together about the cease-fire, that's very important," Morsi told Time.
"Then we can talk about differences between Palestinians and Israelis. It's not easy. It's very difficult. Both sides are talking about differences. We want them to talk about similarities... We are now doing this job as much as we can," he said.
According to the report, the White House lavished praise on Morsi for his role in the ceasefire and has appeared to tip-toe around a full condemnation of his apparent power grab since then.
Press Secretary Jay Carney has said the administration is 'concerned' and has expressed those concerns to Egyptian officials.
"I don't have any new language to give to you today on how our view on it -- what our view on it is," he said, adding: "I would say that we are concerned about it and have raised those concerns."
He characterized the situation as an internal conflict to be solved by Egyptians.