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Countries and international bodies offer congratulations to Al-Sisi on election victory

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White House says it is looking forward to working with Egypt’s new president, but also shared concerns

An Egyptian man holds up a portrait of ex-army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as he celebrates in Cairo's Tahrir Square on June 3, 2014 after Sisi won 96.9 percent of votes in the country's presidential election. Sisi urged his countrymen to work to restore stability and achieve "freedom" and "social justice", in a speech after he was declared winner of last week's election.  (AFP PHOTO / MOHAMED EL-SHAHED)

An Egyptian man holds up a portrait of ex-army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as he celebrates in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on June 3, 2014 after Sisi won 96.9 percent of votes in the country’s presidential election.
(AFP PHOTO / MOHAMED EL-SHAHED)

Countries from across the globe were quick to offer president-elect Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi congratulatory messages, with some urging him to adopt reforms and guarantee rights.

The United States is looking forward to working with Al-Sisi, the White House press secretary office said in a statement. The White House took note of the preliminary statements of domestic and international elections observers which concluded that the elections were conducted “professionally”. It also noted that the balloting took place in a “calm and peaceful manner” and added that it was pleased that international organisations were allowed to observe.

However, it said: “We also share concerns raised by observation groups about the restrictive political environment in which this election took place.”

“While elections are an integral component of a democratic society, true democracy is built on a foundation of rule of law, civil liberties, and open political discourse,” the US said. It urged Al-Sisi and the government to “adopt the reforms that are needed to govern with accountability and transparency, ensure justice for every individual, and demonstrate a commitment to the protection of the universal rights of all Egyptians”.

United Kingdom Foreign Secretary William Hague echoed a similar sentiment after he congratulated Al-Sisi. He said in a press release that the UK looks forward to working with Al-Sisi’s government and added: “We look to President-elect Sisi to take steps to implement the rights contained in Egypt’s constitution by opening up political space, especially with regard to freedom of expression and association.”

“We urge Egypt’s leaders to ensure that Egypt’s transition leads towards accountable and democratic governance, underpinned by strong and accountable institutions,” Hague said.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon urged Egyptian authorities in a statement to “to strengthen democratic institutions and practices.” He added that he “believes doing so is essential for fostering long-term security and stability, by allowing for peaceful political dialogue and contestation, as well as creating a conducive environment for good governance, development, and promoting and protecting human rights”.

Arab League Secretary General Nabil El-Araby congratulated Al-Sisi and the Egyptian people on completing the presidential elections, in accordance with the roadmap. He affirmed in a statement that he and the Arab League are keen to “provide Egypt with all the necessary support”.

Al-Sisi was announced president on Tuesday, after winning 96.9% of valid votes, totalling 23,780,104, beating the only other contender, Nasserist politician Hamdeen Sabahy. Egypt’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Badr Abdelatty expressed in a statement Egypt’s welcoming of the congratulatory messages issued by leaders from “brotherly and friendly countries” as well as regional and international organisations.

Many Gulf states congratulated the Field Marshal. Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud said: “We are pleased to congratulate you for the generous confidence of a people who have granted you their hopes, ambitions and dreams for a better tomorrow.” The Saudi monarch added that the Egyptian people have suffered in the past period from chaos which has targeted and continues to target their security and stability.

Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Muhammad Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah congratulated the president-elect.

Several Emirati officials congratulated the president-elect, including President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed and Vice President Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum.

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates have been vocal about their support of the power shift that occurred in Egypt in July, which led to the ouster of then president and Muslim Brotherhood politician Mohamed Morsi. The three countries have pledged billions in grants, deposits and petroleum products days after Morsi’s removal.

Bahraini Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa also congratulated Al-Sisi for the confidence of the Egyptian people in his leadership of the country “towards ensuring its stability and prosperity” and so that it continues its leading role in the region and internationally”.

Yemeni President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi expressed his confidence that Al-Sisi “will be a supporter of the causes of the Arab nation through his new position,” Yemeni state news agency Saba reported.

Additionally, Gulf Cooperation Council Secretary General Abdul Latif bin Rashid Al Zayani congratulated Al-Sisi, wishing him luck and success.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas congratulated the Field Marshal in the “name of the state of Palestine, its people and in his name”.

“We realise the size of the duties and responsibilities” that Al-Sisi has, Abbas said. He added that he wishes Al-Sisi luck in “confronting current challenges” and creating a better future for Egyptians.

State-run MENA cited Foreign Minister of the Palestinian Authority government Riyad Al-Malki as saying that Abbas will be attending Al-Sisi’s inauguration next Sunday.

Also from the Levant, Jordan’s King Abdullah called Al-Sisi to congratulate him and told him that this “victory reflects the confidence of the Egyptian people in the president-elect” and in his ability to lead Egypt towards a new phase of construction, development, modernisation, strengthening security and national harmony”, Jordan’s state run Petra agency reported.

Morocco’s King Mohammed VI said that he is convinced that Al-Sisi has the qualities of “a veteran statesman” and the “qualifications of an insightful leader” which will support him in undertaking this responsibility.

Indian President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Nardena Modi both offered Al-Sisi their congratulations. A statement by the Indian Embassy in Cairo cited the president as saying that he “always wished the best for your great country and its friendly people”.

The statement said these congratulatory messages “are an expression of the continuity of the deep and historical ties between the two countries”.


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