Morsy initially focused his criticism on the anti-Muslim film as an unacceptable slap at Islam. But after speaking with U.S. President Barack Obama, Morsy on Thursday directly criticized the violence.

"Those who are attacking the embassies do not represent any of us," he said from Brussels, Belgium, where he was visiting the headquarters of the European Union.

Discussing Egypt's relationship with the United States, the prime minister, Kandil, said Egyptian officials believe that Washington is "sincere" in wanting to foster "good relations," adding that Egypt's chief goal is to create "balanced relations," the MENA report said.

"Relations between countries of the so-called Arab Spring and the West have not yet taken complete shape," Kandil said, stressing this is particularly true of Egypt.

Egypt's complicated relationship with the U.S.

As this relationship evolves, the prime minister said his country is committed to protecting U.S. diplomats and their missions.

Until late Saturday, demonstrations near the U.S. Embassy in Cairo have been persistent and, at times, violent with scores injured and scores more arrested.

Still, the thousands of protesters represent a fraction of the Egyptian capital's total population of roughly 11 million people.

In Egypt's northern Sinai, a large number of security forces backed by tanks regained control of a base housing an international peacekeeping force that was breached Friday by Islamist militants.

Carrying automatic weapons, the militants burned trucks and a watch tower on the base, Egyptian media said.

The 1,500-troop Multinational Force & Observers mission has supervised the security of the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty since 1979.

The force said in a statement that the demonstration outside its North Camp in el Gorah "turned violent."

"Individuals throwing Molotov cocktails and explosive devices breached the camp's perimeter. The breach was quickly contained by the professional actions of MFO personnel," the force said in a statement.

It reported eight minor injuries to force members and damage to vehicles and property. There had been a news report of an injury to an Islamist Bedouin, but the MFO said intruders left "with no known injury." The situation stabilized after Egyptian authorities "helped secure the camp's perimeter."

Militants have threatened the observers before, saying they would attack if they didn't leave.

"The MFO views these events with the gravest concern and is coordinating with Egyptian authorities regarding strengthened measures to secure MFO premises and personnel, and to ensure that the MFO mission may continue securely and effectively," it said.

Egyptian security has been fighting militants in Sinai since August. That's when 16 border guards were killed in an attack by Islamist militants.

 

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