American President Barack Obama called Egyptian president Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi Tuesday to congratulate him on his inauguration after he received over 96% of the vote in last month’s elections.
According to a White House press release, Obama conveyed his “commitment to working together to advance the shared interests of both countries”.
He reiterated “the United States’ continuing support for the political, economic, and social aspirations of the Egyptian people, and respect for their universal rights.”
During the call, Al-Sisi, frequently at odds with his American counterpart during the interim period in which he served as Minister of Defence, expressed appreciation for the call.
The two leaders “affirmed their commitment to the strategic partnership between the United States and Egypt and agreed to stay in touch in the weeks and months ahead.”
Italian president Giorgio Napolitano also called Al-Sisi on Tuesday to express his congratulations to Egypt’s sixth president. In a statement released by the Egyptian Foreign Ministry, the Italian head of state mentioned “historical ties and relations of friendship and cooperation between the two countries”.
He added that the Italian side wishes to see the fulfillment of the ambitions of the Egyptian people.
Tensions between Egypt and the United States rose dramatically after Al-Sisi announced Muslim Brotherhood-backed Mohamed Morsi’s ouster on 3 July 2013. Shortly after the violent dispersals of pro-Morsi sit-ins at Rabaa Al-Adaweya and Nahda squares, the United States chose to suspend military aid to Egypt.
The aid, promised in the Camp David Accords signed between Egypt, Israel, and the US, is largely comprised of military aid and equipment.
The United States has not had an ambassador in Egypt for over 10 months.