Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi Wednesday congratulated his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama for his re-election, hoping to strengthen the friendship between Egypt and the United States. Mr. Morsi said he hopes to strengthen "friendly relations between the two countries to serve their common objectives, namely justice, liberty and peace," in a congratulatory message released by the official MENA news agency.
Egypt is the second largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid - behind Israel - with $ 1.5 billion per year, mostly directed to the army.
Washington approached with caution the coming to power of Mr. Morsi, the first President of Egypt who is an Islamist. Relations between the two countries were tense last September with demonstrations outside the U.S. Embassy in Cairo against an anti-Islamic film. Demonstrators were able to remove the US flag. Mr. Obama responded by saying that the Egyptians were neither allies nor enemies.
Morsi however insisted that his country and the United States were real friends, but not necessarily allies.