In the first speech since the announcement of his victory over Ahmed Shafik on Sunday, newly elected Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi vowed to “preserve international accords and obligations,” in what appeared to be a reference to Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel.
In response to Morsi’s victory, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office release a statement reiterating the importance of keeping to the three-decade old peace agreement. “Israel looks forward to continuing cooperation with the Egyptian government on the basis of the peace treaty between the two countries, which is a joint interest of both peoples and contributes to regional stability,” the statement read. Israel had previously expressed concerns that an Egypt ruled by the Islamist Brotherhood would undo the peace treaty between the countries and lead to cooler relations with Cairo.
According to Ynetnews the Prime Minister’s Office is prepared to send a congratulatory message to Morsi, although exactly if and when a letter will be released has yet to be decided.
Morsi on Sunday received welcoming congratulatory messages from leaders and nations across the globe. Foreign Secretary William Hague called the Islamic leader’s victory a “historic” one. “I congratulate the Egyptian people for their commitment to the democratic process and electing a new president,” Hague said in a statement issued by the Foreign Office.
Hamas spokesmen were among the first to congratulate Morsi. Sources in Gaza quoted in Haaretz express hope that the Brotherhood’s rise to power will mark a sharp change in Israel-Egypt relations, and would favour instead Hamas’s goals.
Morsi, the candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood, was elected president of Egypt with 51.7 per cent of last weekend’s run-off vote, defeating Egypt’s last prime minister and former general Ahmed Shafiq. He succeeds Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, who was overthrown 16 months ago after a popular uprising and is the first civilian and democratically elected person to hold the title. Morsi only narrowly defeated Shafik with a margin of only 800,000 votes, the election commission said. Turnout was 51 per cent.