WORLD

Egypt’s president-elect Mursi begins forming government

Iranian media: Morsi wants closer Egypt-Iran ties.

Egypt’s first democratically-elected president, Mohammed Mursi, will start forming a government, after promising to be a leader for all Egyptians, BBC reports.World leaders have congratulated the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate who defeated ex-PM Ahmed Shafiq. Mr Mursi could be sworn in on 30 June, although questions remain over the extent of his authority.The ruling military council has taken control of many of the president’s powers and has dissolved parliament.In his victory speech on Sunday, Mr Mursi, 60, urged Egyptians “to strengthen our national unity” and promised an inclusive presidency.“There is no room now for the language of confrontation,” he said, after the election authorities declared that he had won 51.73% in the 16-17 June presidential run-off.On hearing the news of his victory, tens of thousands of Muslim Brotherhood supporters cheered in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, chanting, “Down with military rule!”.Celebrations continued until the early hours of Monday morning, although some protesters remained in the square, saying they would not leave until parliament was reinstated.For the moment – CNN reports – the presidency is largely a figurehead position as Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) maintains widespread control over the country – just as it has since Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule succumbed to a popular revolt last year. Under an interim constitutional declaration, the military council said it retains the power to make laws and budget decisions until a new constitution is written and a new parliament is elected.Mursi previously told CNN he’d honor Egypt’s 1979 accord with Israel, but in the past, the Islamist figure has referred to Israeli leaders as “vampires.”Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement Sunday that “Israel appreciates the democratic process in Egypt and respects the results of the presidential elections. Israel looks forward to continuing cooperation with the Egyptian government on the basis of the peace treaty between the two countries, which is a joint interest of both peoples and contributes to regional stability.”On the other hand, the Iranian state media reports say Egyptian president-elect Mohamed Morsi wants to strengthen ties with Iran, according to the Voice of America.The semi-official Fars news agency on Monday quoted Morsi saying a closer relationship with Tehran would create a “strategic balance” in the region.  The two countries have not had diplomatic relations since 1980.

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