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US to work with Egypt's el-Sissi but urges reforms

WASHINGTON--The United States said Wednesday it will work with Egyptian President-elect Abdel Fattah el-Sissi but urged him to carry out human rights reforms.

President Barack Obama will speak with the former army chief in the coming days, the White House said in a statement.

Washington looked forward to working with Sisi “to advance our strategic partnership and the many interests shared by the United States and Egypt,” it said.

The statement added: “We urge the President-elect and the government to adopt the reforms that are needed to govern with accountability and transparency, ensure justice for every individual, and demonstrate a commitment to the protection of the universal rights of all Egyptians.”

Sisi took a sweeping 96.9 percent of the vote in elections last week held nearly a year after he toppled president Mohamed Morsi, whose Islamist allies boycotted the polls.

In the statement, the White House said observers found the elections were held in accordance with Egyptian law.

But it also expressed concern about what it called the “restrictive political environment” in which the vote took place and urged Sisi's new government to step up rights reforms.

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