Sunday, June 24, 2012

Abbas, Haniyeh congratulate Mursi

Published today 20:08
Hamas premier Ismail Haniyeh (R) waves to his supporters in Gaza City
as they celebrate Muhammad Mursi's win in Egypt's presidential
elections on June 24. (Reuters/Mohammed Salem)

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Hamas premier Ismail Haniyeh and President Mahmoud Abbas called Muhammad Mursi on Sunday to congratulate him on his victory in Egypt's presidential elections.

Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mursi was declared Egypt's first democratic president on Sunday by the state election committee, which said he had defeated former general Ahmed Shafik with 51.7 percent of last weekend's run-off vote.

Gaza's Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh phoned Mursi to congratulate him, and supporters marched to Haniyeh's home in Gaza City to celebrate the victory.

One man was killed and five injured in celebratory gunfire, as calls of "Allahu Akbar" rang from mosques across the enclave and residents shared sweets in the streets.

President and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas also telephoned Mursi to congratulate him on his presidency.

Fatah leader Amin Maqboul said his party supported the choice of the Egyptian people.

"We wish the best for the Egyptian people and we will support whatever they choose," said Maqboul, secretary-general of Fatah's Revolutionary Council.

Maqboul told Ma'an he hoped Egypt would regain its status as a regional leader and that the Egyptian people would "unite against challenges, especially Israel's continuous aggression against our people."

Mursi has said he will respect Egypt's 1979 treaty with Israel, on which much US aid depends. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he expected continued cooperation with Egypt on the basis of the bilateral peace accord.

Hamas, Fatah's longtime rival, has close ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, but Maqboul said he hoped Egypt would support Palestinian rights "and treat all sides equally."

Maqboul said Fatah had never linked reconciliation with Hamas "on foreign agendas or with the internal Egyptian situations."

"We will continue our efforts to end the split … We will wait and see what the days will bring. Right now we cannot talk about Egypt’s role but we wish Egyptians and Egypt to live in prosperity," Maqboul said. Maan News Agency