Egypt’s new Islamist president will visit the US during UN general assembly following invitation from Barack Obama
Matt Williams and agencies
President Barack Obama has invited Egypt’s newly elected Islamist president Mohamed Morsi to the US, it emerged on Sunday as Washington pledged a “new partnership” with the Arab nation.
The official visit will take place to coincide with the general assembly of the United Nations, Egyptian aide Yasser Ali said following a meeting between Morsi and US deputy secretary of state William Burns.
The move reflects attempts by the White House to cultivate new ties between Washington and the country’s ruling Islamists following the recent election.
Last year, Obama’s administration shifted policy to open formal contacts with the Muslim Brotherhood, the group behind Morsi’s win.
As an ally of ousted President Hosni Mubarak, it had previously been wary of the Islamist organisation. Morsi formally resigned from the group when he won the presidency.
Burns, who became the highest ranking US official to meet Morsi since his swearing-in on 30 June, made no mention of the invitation at an earlier news conference.
But Yasser Ali said after the talks: “President Obama extended an invitation to President Morsi to visit the United States when he attends the UN General Assembly in September.”
During his meeting, Burns deliver a letter from Obama to the newly elected leader.
President Morsi later said that Egyptians could rely on US support as they try to realize their aspirations.
Washington, he said, was looking to see a democratically elected parliament in Egypt, a constitution that protects “universal rights” and an inclusive government.
Secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s is also due to travel to Egypt later this month.