President Obama and Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh Sunday called the leader of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood Party, Mohammed Morsi, to congratulate him on his victory in Egypt’s presidential election.
Mr. Obama expressed to Mr. Morsi his desire to work together with him on the basis of mutual respect, the White House said Sunday.
"President-elect Morsi expressed appreciation for the call," the White House said. "The two leaders affirmed their commitment to advancing the U.S.-Egypt partnership and agreed to stay in close touch in the weeks and months ahead."
Likewise, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh phoned Mr. Morsi to congratulate him on his win.
Senior Hamas official, Mahmoud Zahar, told reporters that Morsi's victory was “a historic moment, a new era in the history of Egypt".
Mr. Obama's embracement of the Muslim Brotherhood predates the fall of Egypt's former President, Hosni Mubarak.
In June of 2009, an Arab news media outlet reported that, under pressure from the U.S., the Secretariat-General of the lower house of the Egyptian Parliament invited ten members of the Muslim Brotherhood parliamentary bloc to attend Barack Obama’s speech in Cairo, despite the Brotherhood's icy relationship with then-Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak.
Similarly, The Atlantic cited various Middle Eastern news sources who reported that the Obama administration insisted that at least 10 members of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood be allowed to attend Obama's speech in Cairo.
In April of 2009, an Egyptian news media outlet reported that President Obama [in February of '09] had met with members of the Muslim Brotherhood. The newspaper reported that Obama met the group's members, who reside in the U.S. and Europe, in Washington, and that the members requested that news of the meeting not be publicized.
Hamas is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood movement.
Hence, in light of all the above, we can certainly understand the congratulatory calls from both President Obama and Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh to the Muslim Brotherhood leader, Egypt's president-elect, Mohammed Morsi.