Lieberman: Israel would reject any changes to 1979 Egypt treaty

Published Sunday, September 23, 2012

Israel will not accept alterations to its 1979 peace treaty with Egypt, Israel's far-right Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Sunday, as ties between the two countries continue to fray.

"There is not the slightest possibility that Israel will accept the modification of the peace treaty with Egypt," Lieberman told Israeli public radio. "We will not accept any modification of the Camp David accords."

The comments come as tensions rise between Egypt and Israel, with speculation that Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi could seek to alter parts of the decades-old treaty.

Ties are also strained over the issue of security in Egypt's Sinai, which borders Israel and which has seen a sharp rise in militant activity since former president Hosni Mubarak was ousted last year,

On Friday, an Israeli soldier and three militants who infiltrated Israel from the Sinai were killed in clashes along the border.

Israel has urged Egypt to tackle the growing lawlessness in Sinai, and Cairo has responded by boosting its military presence in the peninsula. But an increase in Egyptian troops is itself seen as a cause for concern in some corners of Israel, because the Camp David treaty limits the number of troops that can be present in the territory.

"Egypt must fulfill its obligations in Sinai," Lieberman said on Sunday.

Egypt launched an unprecedented military operation in the peninsula after militants killed 16 Egyptian border police in northern Sinai on August 5.

Israel had warned Cairo to withdraw the military reinforcements once the operation was over, which it did.

(AFP, Al-Akhbar)

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