Region, world react to Egypt's new, Islamist president

Western and Arab countries have welcomed the election of the Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi as Egypt's new president.

Source: Beta, Tanjug

Reports describe Mohamed Morsi as the country's first Islamist leader.

U.S. President Barack Obama congratulated the first president of Egypt elected after the fall of the regime of Hosni Mubarak and urged that country to continue to advocate for peace in the region.

"President Obama pledged to cooperate with president-elect Morsi, based on mutual respect and in order to accomplish many common interests between Egypt and the United States," reads a statement from the White House.

Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated the candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood and expressed readiness for "constructive" cooperation with Egypt.

"President Putin has expressed readiness to cooperate constructively with the new leadership in Egypt in order to develop the Egyptian-Russian relations and for the strengthening of stability and peace in the Middle East," the Kremlin said in a statement.

Supreme Presidential Election Commission on Sunday said that Morsi was elected president in the second round, with 51.7 percent of the vote.

Neighboring Israel on Monday welcomed the "democratic process" that allowed Morsi to be elected, saying that it "intends to continue cooperation with the Egyptian government based on the peace agreement of 1979".

The Muslim Brotherhood does not recognize the state of Israel, and the country was afraid of the possibility that Egypt's new head of state might come from that Islamist movement.

Morsi's victory, meanwhile, was celebrated with shots fired from automatic weapons and car horns in the Gaza Strip, where radical Palestinian movement Hamas is in power.

In the West Bank, Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erakat sent his congratulations to the new president of Egypt on behalf of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian people.

In the Lebanese city of Sidon, inhabited mainly by Sunni supporters of a group ideologically close to the Muslim Brotherhood, the outcome of the Egyptian election was celebrating in the streets throughout the night.

Morsi also received congratulations from the Syrian transitional national council, the main body of the Syrian opposition, which said it was confident that his victory was "the brightest achievements of the Arab spring" which brought "high hopes" to the Syrian people.

Iran, Iraq, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain and Jordan also congratulated Morsi on his victory.

The European Union said it was "historic for Egypt and the region", while EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton expressed willingness to cooperate with the new head of Egypt's state, urging him to "reach out to other political and social groups."

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon congratulated Morsi and the Egyptian people on the peaceful atmosphere during the first free presidential elections held in that country.


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