(MENAFN - The Peninsula) The US has said it is looking forward to working with the government of the Egyptian President-elect Abdel Fatah Al Sisi, while urging him to carry out human rights reforms.
The US President, Barack Obama, will speak with the former army chief in the coming days, the White House said in a statement. Washington looked forward to working with Sisi "to advance our strategic partnership and the many interests shared by the United States and Egypt", it said.
Sisi took a sweeping 96.9pc of the vote in an election held nearly a year after he toppled President Mohammed Mursi, whose Islamist allies boycotted the polls.
The US refrained from calling the change of government a coup, which would have forced it under US law to stop providing Egypt with billions in annual aid.
In the statement, the White House said observers found the elections were held in accordance with Egyptian law. But it also expressed concern about what it called the "restrictive political environment" in which the vote took place and urged Sisi's government to step up human rights reforms.
"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," it said. The statement added: "We urge 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."