President-elect Morsi must respect all Egyptians: Canada
Canada is showing caution after an Islamist won Egypt's divisive elections, urging Mohamed Morsi to respect the aspirations of "all Egyptians," as well as women's and religious rights.
The victory of the Muslim Brotherhood's candidate, declared Sunday, has sparked worries, chiefly from the United States and Israel, that Egypt could renege on rights, ties with the Jewish state and decades of secular rule under ousted leader Hosni Mubarak.
"Canada wishes president-elect Dr Mohamed Morsi well in working to fulfill the aspirations of all Egyptians," Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird said in a statement late Sunday hailing the election as an "important step" in Egypt's democratic transition.
"Egypt must remain on a path toward freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law, and work to protect the rights of women and religious minorities, including Egypt's significant Coptic community."
Hours after he was declared the winner, Morsi sought to allay the fears both inside and outside Egypt by vowing: "I will be a president for all Egyptians."
Official results gave Morsi victory over Mubarak's last prime minister Ahmed Shafiq with 51.73 percent of the vote, though a series of moves by the interim military junta has weakened the powers of the new civilian head of state.
Baird also urged Egypt to "work expeditiously toward the completion of a new constitution that will enshrine democratic principles and protect the fundamental rights of all Egyptians."
"We will continue to support Egypt's transition to democracy and the Egyptian people's calls for a better, brighter future," he added.
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