WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Obama called the winner and the loser of Egypt’s presidential election and emphasized preserving mutual interests, an allusion to the peace treaty with Israel and strong U.S.-Egyptian ties.
In his conversation with the victor, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi, “The president underscored that the United States will continue to support Egypt’s transition to democracy and stand by the Egyptian people as they fulfill the promise of their revolution,” the White House said in a statement. “He emphasized his interest in working together with President-elect Morsi, on the basis of mutual respect, to advance the many shared interests between Egypt and the United States.”
Israeli officials have expressed concern, based on the Muslim Brotherhood’s election rhetoric and recent unrest on the Egyptian-Israeli border, that Morsi would lead a rollback from his country’s landmark 1979 peace treaty with the Jewish state.
Morsi, however, sounded a conciliatory note in his victory speech.
“We will honor international treaties and agreements, and will create balanced international relations based on mutual interests and respect,” he said, according to the Times of Israel.
Obama also spoke to Gen. Ahmed Shafiq, the losing candidate and the last prime minister to serve deposed President Hosni Mubarak. Shafiq allegedly was favored by the country’s powerful military establishment.
“The president encouraged General Shafiq to continue to play a role in Egyptian politics by supporting the democratic process and working to unify the Egyptian people,” the White House statement said.