Egypt's new President Mohammed Morsi addressed the United Nations General Assembly in New York for the first time on Wednesday, calling for a Middle East free of nuclear weapons.
Morsi emphasized, however, the "right of all countries of the region to the peaceful use of nuclear energy within the framework of the [Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty]."
Morsi said that Egypt would honor all international agreements that it has signed, although he did not specifically mention the 1979 peace treaty with Israel.
On the Palestinian issue, Morsi harshly criticized Israel. He said that the establishment of a Palestinian state should be a top priority for the international community.
"I assure you of Egypt's full support to any course of action Palestine decides to follow in the United Nations," Morsi said. "I call upon all of you, just as you have supported the revolutions of the Arab peoples, to lend your support to the Palestinians in their endeavors to regain the full and legitimate rights of a people struggling to gain its freedom and establish its independent state."
Morsi also used strong language on the crisis in Syria, calling the civil war there the "tragedy of the age" that must be brought to an end. He said the Syrian people "deserve to hope for a future of freedom and dignity."
"We will continue to work to put an end to the suffering of the Syrian people and provide them an opportunity to choose freely the regime that best represents them," Morsi said.
Earlier this week, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on Morsi to improve his relationship with Israel. The statement was made during a meeting between Clinton and Morsi in New York.