Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi reiterated the importance of his country's ties with the US but said that its values of democracy and freedom cannot be adopted by Egypt under the current circumstances.
In a lengthy interview with the Wall Street Journal, El-Sisi refuted suggestions -- fueled by cooperation between his country and Russia -- that Egypt could reduce bilateral relations with the US.
"A country like Egypt will never be mischievous with bilateral relations with America," he said on Friday.
"We will never act foolishly."
El-Sisi described the US as a country that "has the strength, and with that might comes responsibility," while also commenting on the country's role in the Middle East.
"That is why it is committed and has responsibilities toward the whole world. It is not reasonable or acceptable that with all that might the United States will not be committed and have responsibilities toward the Middle East."
"The Middle East is passing through the most difficult and critical time and this will only entail more involvement, not less.”
On Egypt, El-Sisi stressed that he is "very keen" to meet the expectations of liberals, "but the situation in Egypt is overwhelmed."
The US, he said, is a country that "is at the top of progress: cultural, financial, political, civilisational—it’s all there in the US."
US values of democracy and freedom should be honoured, he continued. "But they need the atmosphere where those values can be nurtured. If we can bring prosperity we can safeguard those values not just in words.”