Egyptian president called peace talks 'a waste of time'

Egyptian president Mohammed Mursi dismissed talks between Israel and the Palestinians as "a waste of time and opportunities", saying Arabs could gain nothing by negotiating with "descendants of apes and pigs", according to interviews from two years ago translated this week by the Middle East Media Research Institute.

In a September 2010 interview on Lebanon's Al-Quds TV, Mursi denounced the Palestinian Authority as a construct of "Zionist and American enemies for the sole purpose of opposing the will of the Palestinian people", saying: "no reasonable person can expect any progress on this track."

He urged Arabs and Muslims to "employ all forms of resistance against those criminal Zionists, who attack Palestine and the Palestinians", adding: "Either you accept the Zionists and everything they want, or else it is war. This is what these occupiers of the land of Palestine know - these blood-suckers, who attack the Palestinians, these warmongers, the descendants of apes and pigs."

Mursi assumed the Egyptian presidency in June last year, after the wave of protests which led to the ousting of former leader Hosni Mubarak. Mursi had previously been Chairman of Egypt's Freedom and Justice Party, which was founded by the country's Muslim Brotherhood in 2011, as pro-democracy protests swept the Arab world.

In a separate interview aired on Al-Quds TV in March 2010, Mursi said: "The Zionists have no right to the land of Palestine. What they took before 1947-8 constitutes plundering, and what they are doing now is a continuation of this plundering. By no means do we recognise their Green Line. The land of Palestine belongs to the Palestinians, not to the Zionists."

Mursi added: "All the talk about a two-state solution and about peace is nothing but an illusion."

He called on the Islamic world "to confront this Zionist entity, and to sever all ties of all kinds with this plundering criminal entity", saying Arabs "want a country for the Palestinians on the entire land of Palestine."

"The Zionists understood nothing but the language of force. They are hostile by nature," he added, blaming Jews for "fanning the flames of civil strife wherever they were throughout history".

Following Israel's eight-day pounding of the Gaza Strip in November, post-revolutionary Egypt emerged as a key player, with a degree of leverage over both sides in the conflict.