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Thursday, April 17, 2014  

Mideast welcomes Obama victory
CAIRO Egypt’s Islamist President Mohamed Mursi hailed his counterpart US President Barack Obama’s  re-election and said he hoped it would strengthen the “friendship” between their two countries.

Mursi hoped for a “strengthening of the friendship between the two countries to serve their common interests, namely justice, freedom and peace,” in a telegram of congratulations released by the official news agency Mena.

 Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas congratulated Obama and called on him to pursue Middle East peace efforts.

Abbas “congratulated Obama on his re-election as US president for a second term,” said a statement by official news agency Wafa.

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat said he hoped Obama’s re-election would mean the creation of a Palestinian state in the next four years. “We hope that a Palestinian state will be implemented in Obama’s next term,” he said.

Erakat pointed out that Israel had announced new settlement tenders as Americans were going to the polls, and called on Obama to take swift action to prevent continuing Israeli settlement activity.

He also urged the new administration to back Palestinian plans to seek enhanced status at the United Nations General Assembly.

In Gaza, the ruling Hamas movement reacted cautiously to Obama’s win, with spokesman Taher Al Nunu saying the group was “waiting to see if there will be a positive change in Obama’s policy or not.”

“We hope that Obama commits to legitimate Palestinian rights and stops his policy of double standards and bias towards Israel.”

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated Obama on his re-election, saying ties between their two countries were “stronger than ever.”

A tweet from one of Saudi Arabia’s most influential clerics summed up the Middle East’s response to Obama’s re-election:  

“Obama isn’t good,” tweeted Salman Al Oudah, “But he is the lesser evil.”  

Amin, a Teheran filmmaker, said: “We hate the policies of the US and Israel, but Obama’s policies are wiser. The only chance we have for the situation not to get worse was an Obama victory.”  

Agencies
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