The head of Gaza's Hamas government Ismail Haniya, holds up the Palestinian flag (L) and the Egyptian flag (R)
The head of Gaza's Hamas government Ismail Haniya, holds up the Palestinian flag (L) and the Egyptian flag (R) as he celebrates in Gaza City after the Muslim Brotherhood's presidential candidate Mohamed Morsi (poster behind) was declared the winner of the Egyptian elections. Morsi was declared the first president of Egypt since a popular uprising ousted Hosni Mubarak. © Mohammed Abed - AFP
The head of Gaza's Hamas government Ismail Haniya, holds up the Palestinian flag (L) and the Egyptian flag (R)
Last updated: June 25, 2012

Arab world welcomes Morsi's win in Egypt

Middle East countries welcomed on Sunday the election of the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi as Egypt's first president following the ouster of Hosni Mubarak.

In Israel, which has a 1979 peace treaty with Egypt, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his country respects the democratic election of Morsi as Egypt's president and wants to cooperate with his future government in Cairo.

"Israel values the democratic process in Egypt and respects the results of the presidential election," his office said in a statement."Israel hopes to continue cooperation with the Egyptian government on the basis of the peace treaty."

There was celebratory gunfire in the Gaza Strip, which borders Egypt and is ruled by the Palestinian Islamic movement Hamas, which has its roots in the Brotherhood and close ties with it.

Senior Hamas official Mahmud Zahar told AFP the victory was "a historic moment and a new era in the history of Egypt," as Gazans cheered and fired volleys of celebratory gunfire in the streets of the coastal enclave.

Zahar called Morsi's victory "a defeat for the programme of normalisation and security cooperation with the enemy," referring to Israel.

The Palestinian Authority also congratulated Egypt's president-elect.

"We congratulate Doctor Mohamed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood candidate, on his win in the Egyptian presidential elections," Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat told AFP.

The Palestinians have closely watched Egypt's post-uprising transition, with Hamas hailing the rise of its traditional ally the Muslim Brotherhood, which also won a majority in Egypt's parliamentary elections.

The government spokesman in Egypt's neighbour Jordan saluted the "success of the electoral process in the Egyptian presidential election, and welcomes the choice of the fraternal Egyptian people to continue on the democratic path."

He added hopes for the "consolidation of security and stability as well as the flourishing and progress of Egypt and its people."

Iran's foreign ministry said Tehran "congratulates the victory of the Egyptian people in this election and the presidency of Dr Mohamed al-Morsi, and pays homage to the country's martyrs."

Although Iran's predominant faith is Shiite Islam and the Muslim Brotherhood adheres to the Sunni branch of Islam, Tehran has been reaching out to the organisation in Egypt.

Qatar for its part "expressed its appreciation for the role of the (ruling) Supreme Council of the Armed Forces and Egypt's judges in helping this experience turn out to be successful."

"With this step, Egyptians have taken their country towards democracy so it could resume its great historic role," said the statement on the state news agency QNA.

The United Arab Emirates likewise welcomed Morsi's victory, urging "stability" in the north African nation, which is the Arab world's most populous, state news agency WAM reported.

The UAE, "welcomes the results of presidential elections (there) and respects the choice of the brotherly Egyptian people in their track of democracy," said a foreign ministry statement carried by WAM.

The Gulf state "hopes all efforts to combine now towards securing stability, harmony, and cooperation among all parties ... to fulfill the aspirations of the Egyptian people," it said.

In Kuwait, meanwhile, Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah congratulated Morsi on the "confidence the brotherly people of Egypt had granted him by electing him as president," the official KUNA news agency reported.

The emir wished the newly elected Islamist leader "good luck in fulfilling the aspirations of Egyptians in achieving further prosperity and for security and stability to prevail" in the country, it added.

In Baghdad, parliament speaker Osama al-Nujaifi expressed "the warmest congratulations and great blessings" and hoped that "Egypt and its people have security, stability and prosperity during the next phase."

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, based in Saudi Arabia, said it "congratulates Egypt's elected president and considers (his victory) an important historic event that meets the demands of Egyptians."

Becoming Egypt's first post-uprising president, the Muslim Brotherhood's Morsi won 51.73 percent of the vote, defeating Ahmed Shafiq, who was toppled strongman Hosni Mubarak's last premier.

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