New Egypt leader steps out on world stage seeking 'balance'

August 28, 2012 02:37

CAIRO - Egypt's new Islamist president said on Monday he would pursue a "balanced" foreign policy, reassuring Israel its peace treaty was safe, hinting at a new approach to Iran and calling on Syrian Bashar Assad's allies to help lever the Syrian leader out.

Mohamed Morsy, who was elected in June and consolidated his power this month by dismissing top military leaders, is seeking to introduce himself to a wider world ahead of a trip to Iran - the first by an Egyptian leader in three decades - and China.

"Egypt is now a civilian state ... a national, democratic, constitutional, modern state," he told Reuters in his first interview with an international news organization since taking office as the candidate of the once-banned Muslim Brotherhood.

"International relations between all states are open and the basis for all relations is balance. We are not against anyone but we are for achieving our interests," said the US-educated engineer, appearing confident and assertive in the marble-lined presidential palace.

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