Israel urges Egypt to keep peace treaty
Published Sunday, July 1, 2012
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has sent a letter to Egypt's newly-elected President Mohammed Mursi, begging him to uphold a peace treaty between the two countries, Israeli media said on Sunday.
The letter, first reported by Israeli daily Haaretz, "stressed Israel's desire to continue cooperation and to strengthen the peace," an Israeli source told AFP on condition of anonymity.
The letter was sent "in the last few days," the source added, with Haaretz reporting that it was delivered to Mursi, who ran as the candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood movement, via the Israeli embassy in Cairo.
Haaretz said that Netanyahu in his message "offered to cooperate with the new government in Cairo and expressed...hope that both parties will observe the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty."
Netanyahu "emphasized that honoring the agreement is in the interest of both countries," the newspaper added.
The report comes only a day after the incoming Mursi promised to fight for the rights of Palestinians, who have been oppressed by Israel since its inception in 1948.
During an address to university students the new Egyptian premier announced his support for the Palestinians until they "regain all their rights."
"I announce from here that Egypt, its people and presidential institution stand with the Palestinian people until they regain all their rights," he said.
Egypt's leader Anwar Sadat signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1979, despite the wishes of millions of Egyptians.
Former Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak was a key ally of Israel until he was toppled in a popular uprising last year.
Israel has watched with increasing concern as the introduction of democracy in Egypt has led to increasing criticism of the state's relationship with Tel Aviv.
Last year activists stormed the Israeli embassy in Cairo, while protests against the oppression of Palestinians are common.
Haaretz said Israeli officials, after consulting with Washington, had decided to put off attempts to organize a phone call between Mursi and Netanyahu.