Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, says he expects future cooperation with Mohammed Morsi, the new Islamist president-elect of Egypt.
In a meeting with Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, Mr Netanyahu said: “We expect to work together with the new administration on the basis of our peace treaty.
“I believe that peace is important to Israel. I believe that peace is important to Egypt. I believe that peace is a vital interest for both countries and I believe that peace is the foundation of stability in our region.”
An Israeli official, speaking earlier on condition of anonymity, said the Netanyahu government hoped Mr Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood’s parliamentary bloc would put the need to tend to Egypt’s ailing economy ahead of any revision of bilateral ties.
US aid to Cairo hinges on keeping the peace with Israel.
Earlier, Iran’s Fars news agency claimed Mr Morsi wanted closer ties with Iran to create strategic “balance” in the region.
Mr Morsi reportedly said forging closer relations ”will create a balance of pressure in the region, and this is part of my programme”.
Fars said he was speaking a few hours before the result of the Egyptian election was announced on Sunday, and that a full version of the interview would be published later.
Mr Morsi was declared the winner of a divisive presidential run-off, becoming the first Islamist to be elected president of the Arab world’s most populous nation.
He won 51.73 per cent of the vote against ex-premier Ahmed Shafiq, and vowed to be a leader for all Egyptians.
“I will be a president for all Egyptians,” Mr Morsi said just hours after he was declared the winner.
“I call on you, great people of Egypt … to strengthen our national unity,” he added. National unity “is the only way out of these difficult times”.
Israeli media expressed almost unanimous concern over his victory on Monday morning.
“Darkness in Egypt,” read the headline of the top-selling Yediot Aharonot newspaper, with commentator Smadar Peri writing inside the newspaper that Morsi’s victory was a dangerous development for Israel.
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