Obama congratulates Mohammed Morsi

2012-06-25 10:20

Washington - US President Barack Obama congratulated Egyptian President-elect Mohammed Morsi by phone on Sunday, and also called the Islamist's defeated rival, Ahmed Shafiq, to encourage him to stay active in Egyptian politics, the White House said.

The two calls took place hours after Morsi was declared Egypt's first freely-elected president, sparking joy among Muslim Brotherhood supporters. Shafiq, a former air force commander, was the last prime minister of Egypt's long-time leader Hosni Mubarak.

"The president underscored that the United States will continue to support Egypt's transition to democracy and stand by the Egyptian people as they fulfil the promise of their revolution," the White House said in a statement about Obama's conversation with Morsi.

"The president emphasised his interest in working together with the new Egyptian president and all Egyptian political groups to advance the shared interests between the United States and Egypt," it said in a separate statement about the Shafiq call, saying Obama urged him to help unify the Egyptian people.

Earlier on Sunday, the White House described Morsi's victory as a "milestone" in Egypt's transition to democracy and urged the new leader to respect the rights of all Egyptians, including women and religious minorities.

Shafiq had promised to protect Egypt from being dragged back to the "dark ages" under Islamist rule.

  • Jaba - 2012-06-25 11:36

    An Islamist who wants to honour the peace treaty with Israel - this is good news. This type of 3rd party may be able to be the one that could bring both the Palestinians and the Israelis to the negotiation table. So far we have had a pro-west Mubarak in office that did not get along with the fundamentalist in power of the Palestinian leadership - now we have an Islamist and one that is educated enough to know that peace will bring stability and a better life for all. I'm optimistic.

  • james.rossouw - 2012-06-25 13:52

    A Egyptian friend in the US informs me that life for Christians have been difficult and is going to get harder.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-06-25 19:18

      Birds of a feather flock together

  • fred.fraser.12 - 2012-06-25 19:20

    Especially positive that he sees himself as a leader of all Egyotians. There's much hope in this.

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