(WASHINGTON) -- White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters that he’d heard the criticism that Egypt’s choice to elect a Muslim Brotherhood candidate to the presidency showed that the Arab Spring was a debacle, but he cautioned that, “we judge individuals and parties that are elected in a democratic process by their actions, not by their religious affiliation.”
Critics of the Muslim Brotherhood have pointed out that the group has called Israel an "enemy entity" and has celebrated jihad against the West. The Obama administration has painted the Muslim Brotherhood as a "moderate" group.
“We hope President-Elect (Mohammed) Morsi will take steps to advance national unity, uphold universal values and respect the rights of all Egyptian citizens including women and religious minorities such as Coptic Christians,” Carney said, reading a statement aboard Air Force One Monday.
He said that concerns about relations with Israel being hurt should be tempered by the fact that Morsi acknowledged Egypt would continue to uphold its treaty obligations with the Israelis. As for Iran? Carney wouldn’t say the U.S. would urge or demand that Egypt steer clear of formal relations with Iran but suggested that it’s, "perfectly appropriate for a nation like Egypt to have relations with its neighbors but again we look to Egypt to continue its significant role as a pillar of regional peace and stability."
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