Egypt’s Islamist President Mohamed Mursi on Wednesday hailed his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama re-election and said he hoped it would strengthen the “friendship” between their two countries.
Mursi hoped for a “strengthening of the friendship between the two countries to serve their common interests, namely justice, freedom and peace,” in a telegram of congratulations released by the official news agency MENA.
Despite the fall of its key regional ally president Hosni Mubarak in last year’s uprising, Egypt remains the second largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid -- after Israel -- totaling $1.5 billion a year, mostly for its military.
In September, however, Obama sparked intrigue over the state of US relations with Egypt after he said the country, which is Islamist-dominated in the post-Mubarak era, was neither a friend nor a foe.
Obama’s comments came after a mob raided the U.S. embassy in Cairo in protest at a film made on U.S. soil and deemed anti-Islam that also caused riots across the Muslim world.