Today was a momentous one for Egypt, and for the rest of the world too I suspect. Dr. Mohamed Mursi (or is it Morsi? Morsey? Morsy? — I’ve seen several different spellings) was introduced to the world as the new President of Egypt. Thousands were waiting in the hot sun in Tahrir Square for the announcement. A young man from New Mexico, Eric Maddox, was there and shared this short video clip of the experience. I hope he shares more.
Supposedly, President Mursi’s first public address was via Twitter. If true, that seems very appropriate given the fact that the Arab Spring in January 2011 owes much of its success to Twitter and Facebook.
He sounds alot like Barack Obama did when he was elected. President Mursi says he wants to be the President of all Egyptians.
In a televised address, Mr Mursi paid tribute to the protesters killed in last year’s uprising against former President Hosni Mubarak.
He said without the “blood of the martyrs” he would not have been elected.
“The revolution goes on, carries on until all the objectives of the revolution are achieved and together we will complete this march. The people have been patient long enough,” he said.
“I call on you, great people of Egypt… to strengthen our national unity.
“Today I am a president for all Egyptians, wherever they may be.”
Of course, President Mursi doesn’t have the Republican Party to contend with, but I bet SCAF (Supreme Council of the Armed Forces) won’t be much easier. Just in the past few days, SCAF has dissolved the legislative branch of government, reasserted its own powers in the budget and law-making processes, and attempted to neuter the new President’s authority.
President Obama called President Mursi to congratulate him and to let him know that Obama wants to work with him based on “mutual respect.” Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu probably didn’t make any phone calls (although he should have) but he issued a formal reaction to the election.
“Israel appreciates the democratic process in Egypt and respects its results,” said Netanyahu.
“Israel expects the continuation of the cooperation with the Egyptian regime on the basis of the peace treaty between the two countries, which is an interest of both peoples and contributes to the stability of the region,” he added.
Netanyahu’s skills at diplomacy might leave something to be desired. Maybe President Mursi will respond with more strength and moral leadership than President Obama has been able to muster:
“Egypt appreciates the concerns of its neighbor to the north. We expect Israel to halt settlements and new construction in the Occupied Palestinian Territories; we expect Israel to honor and recognize that the Palestinians have a right to exist with dignity, respect and justice within a sovereign state of their own; and we expect that Israel will lift the siege and blockade of Gaza immediately.”
This is a new day in Egypt. I hope it’s a new day in Palestine too. ! مبروك محمد مرسي