(JNS.org) Israeli officials as well as leaders of Egypt’s Christian community congratulated Abdel Fattah El-Sisi on winning the Egyptian presidential election.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres both spoke with El-Sisi on Friday. “Prime Minister Netanyahu noted to the Egyptian president-elect the strategic importance of ties between the countries and in sustaining the peace accords between them,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.
Pope Tawadros II, who heads Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church, described El-Sisi’s win as “the fruit of the people’s trust and indication of clear popular will,” Al-Ahram reported.
Tawadros has been outspoken in his support of El-Sisi. Last year he appeared alongside El-Sisi, along with his Muslim counterpart Sheikh Ahmed El-Tayeb, head of Al-Azhar University, to give legitimacy to the new military-backed government following the ouster of Islamist president and Muslim Brotherhood member Mohamed Morsi.
Other Christian leaders in Egypt echoed Tawadros’s sentiment.
“El-Sisi is the right man at the right time. His victory gives us Christians security and a perspective for the future. Better times are coming,” Bishop Adel Zaky, who heads the Catholic Church in Egypt, told the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need.
“He is a religious person, but he sees religion as a private matter. His prime concern is his country. He demonstrated this when he saved Egypt from an impending civil war last year,” Zaky said.
Israel and Egypt have a shared interest in cracking down on Islamic terror groups in the Sinai Peninsula and in targeting the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, which is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood.