Washington: US President Barack Obama will meet Egypt's first Islamist leader, the recently elected Mohamed Mursi, at the UN General Assembly in New York in September, a US official said on Sunday.
The United States has reached out carefully to Mursi as US officials predict a more complicated and less predictable relationship with the key Arab nation.
Mursi of the once-banned Muslim Brotherhood was last month proclaimed to be Egypt's first democratically elected president, a year and a half after street protests toppled veteran strongman and US ally Hosni Mubarak.
Despite Mursi's Islamist background, the confirmation of his election brought relief to Obama's administration which feared that the military would not accept his victory and provoke new chaos in Egypt.
Mursi put Washington further at ease shortly after his victory announcement when he pledged to be a leader for all Egypt -- where around 10 per cent of the population is Christian -- and to honor a peace treaty with Israel.
"He's been saying a lot of the right things, both privately and then you saw him say many of the right things publicly," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters at the time.
The United States lavishly supported Mubarak during his 30 years in power but analysts say US officials will now have to work with multiple centers of power -- including a military seen as restricting Mursi's room for maneuver.
Obama spoke by telephone with Mursi after his election was confirmed and pledged to work together "on the basis of mutual respect." He also called losing candidate Ahmed Shafiq, who was close to Mubarak, and asked him to support the democratic process.
The Obama administration nonetheless put heavy pressure on Egypt at several points since Mubarak's overthrow, including when it persuaded the interim leaders to release 13 foreign NGO workers including six Americans.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also fiercely criticized Egypt's military leaders over the treatment of women after a video went viral of helmeted troops ripping off the clothes and beating a veiled woman protester.

Clinton in March nonetheless waived restrictions imposed by Congress and resumed USD 1.3 billion a year in military aid to Egypt.


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