Mursi’s win is likely to usher in an era of cooler ties between Cairo and Washington, after decades of close cooperation between the United States and Mubarak on counter-terrorism, Iran and other regional concerns.
“We believe that it is important for President-elect Mursi to take steps at this historic time to advance national unity by reaching out to all parties and constituencies in consultations about the formation of a new government,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement, calling on the new leader to ensure Egypt remains “a pillar of regional peace”.
“We believe it is essential for the Egyptian government to continue to fulfill Egypt’s role as a pillar of regional peace, security and stability,” Carney said, in a veiled reference to hopes for continued cooperation with Israel.
On the other hand, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that his country respects the democratic election of Mursi 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 Mursi’s victory “a defeat for the program of normalization and security cooperation with the enemy,” referring to Israel.