Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi at a Berlin news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel denied he is an anti-Semite.
Morsi was asked by a German reporter about a recording from 2010 in which Morsi said Zionists are "descendants of apes and pigs," The New York Times reported. Morsi responded he is "not against Judaism as a religion" and his remarks were taken out of context.
"My religion instructs me to believe in all the prophets and to respect all religions as well as every person's freedom of religion," Morsi said. "Everyone believes in and practices his religion the way he sees fit as long as it remains lawful in the country he lives in."
Merkel said Egypt must respect human rights if it wants to keep German support.
"One thing that is important for us is that the channels of dialogue are always open with all political forces in Egypt, so that the different political forces can play their role," Merkel said.
Morsi made the already scheduled trip to Germany, Egypt's No. 3 trading partner while rioting has disrupted life in several Egyptian cities.
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