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US looks forward to working with Sisi: White House

Last Updated: Wednesday, June 4, 2014 - 21:05

Washington: The US today said it is looking forward to working with Egypt`s president-elect Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and advance the bilateral strategic ties but raised concerns over the "restrictive political environment" in which he was elected.

"The US looks forward to working with Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the winner of Egypt`s presidential election, to advance our strategic partnership and the many interests shared by the US and Egypt," the White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said.

Obama, who is currently travelling in Europe, plans to speak with Sisi in the coming days, he said.

Carney noted that the domestic and international observers concluded in their preliminary statements that Egypt`s Presidential Electoral Commission (PEC) administered the election professionally and in line with Egyptian laws.

"We are pleased that international organisations were allowed to participate as observers, and note that balloting proceeded in a calm and peaceful manner," he said.

"We also share concerns raised by observation groups about the restrictive political environment in which this election took place," he said.

"We have consistently expressed our concerns about limits on freedom of peaceful assembly, association, and expression and call upon the government to ensure these freedoms as well as due process rights for all Egyptians," Carney said.

As Egypt looks toward parliamentary elections later this year, the US urges the government to consider the recommendations of the observer groups on ways to improve the administration of future elections, he said.

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, he said.

As such, he urged the President-elect 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.

"Egypt and its people have made clear their demands for dignity, justice, and political and economic opportunity," he said.

"The US fully supports the democratic aspirations of the Egyptian people and we will stand with them as they pursue the future that they deserve," Carney said.

Former army chief Sisi won 96.9 per cent of the vote in the election held nearly a year after he toppled president Mohamed Morsi, whose Islamist allies boycotted the polls.

First Published: Wednesday, June 4, 2014 - 21:05

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