Obama calls new Egyptian president to congratulate him: White House

WASHINGTON Tue Jun 10, 2014 3:48pm EDT

Presidential candidate and Egypt's former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi talks during a television interview broadcast on CBC and ONTV, in Cairo,  May 6, 2014. REUTERS/Al Youm Al Saabi Newspaper

Presidential candidate and Egypt's former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi talks during a television interview broadcast on CBC and ONTV, in Cairo, May 6, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Al Youm Al Saabi Newspaper

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama called new Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Tuesday and affirmed their commitment to a U.S.-Egyptian strategic partnership, the White House said.

Sisi was sworn in on Sunday, almost a year after toppling elected President Mohamed Mursi, an ouster that Obama resisted calling a coup because it would have prompted Washington to cut off assistance to Egypt.

The White House said Obama called Sisi to congratulate him on his inauguration and "to convey his commitment to working together to advance the shared interests of both countries."

"The president reiterated the United States’ continuing support for the political, economic, and social aspirations of the Egyptian people, and respect for their universal rights," the White House said.

(Reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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