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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Israel wishes Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsy to visit Jerusalem

Mohamed Morsy, Egyptian President

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liebermann said in his interview on Tuesday that he urges Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsy to visit Israel in the nearest future to reassure his statements about the commitment of Camp David peace treaty with Jewish state and to warm the relationships between two neighboring countries.

Mohamed Morsy told on Monday in an interview to Reuters that Egypt is willing to pursue the balanced foreign policy and stated also that the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel will be safe.

Egypt and Israel signed Camp David peace treaty in 1979 with US mediation after four-year war. Egyptian President Anwar Al-Sadat was the first President of Arab country to visit Jewish state. Later, during Hosni Mubarak’s rule Egypt was a loyal US ally and supported the peace treaty with Israel, guaranteeing peace in Middle East. The relationships between Egypt and Israel remained normal, but cool, as the peace treaty with Israel was always unpopular among the majority of Egyptians.

After January 25 Revolution in 2011 and the following transitional period Israeli authorities were watching the developments in Egyptian political life carefully, especially after Muslim Brotherhood’s raise in power. Muslim Brotherhood was traditionally hostile towards the Jewish state, and Islamists used to describe Israel as a racist state and occupant. The attacks on the borders, especially the one in summer 2011, significantly worsened the relations between the two countries. There were massive protests in Egypt calling for breaking the diplomatic relations with Israel and storming Israeli embassy.

There were worries in Israel regarding the future relations with Egypt after Islamist President Mohamed Morsy won the presidential election. But after Morsy was sworn in as a President, he avoided that unpleasant language talking of Israel and stated that Egypt will respect all the international treaties including Camp David accords signed with Israel.
Avigdor Liebermann, Israeli Foreign Minister

Later, after the deadly border attack on 5 August and the following attacks, Egypt launched a massive military operation in Sinai in order to eliminate the terrorist network and its activity and to fight the extremist militants. This operation was coordinated with the neighboring Israel, and Morsy also stated Israel has nothing to fear of this operation. Israel sees those steps as a positive sign.

So, Israel reacted very positive on Morsy’s words about commitment to peace, Camp David treaty and fight the extremist elements, but it’s very important to take some actions too, as the peace cannot be abstract and hypothetical and needs more tangible expressions, stresses Israeli Foreign Minister.

Avigdor Liebermann said on Tuesday, Israel really hopes to see Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy receiving the official delegation of Israeli representatives in the nearest future. He also said they are willing to see Mosry being interviewed by Israeli media and visiting Jerusalem and meeting with Israeli President Shimon Peres in Israel. 

Such statements signal the readiness of Israel to cooperate with the biggest Arab country in the future. Morsy’s stance on the issues of foreign policy indicates that he would seek less US influence in Egypt, but at the same time he tries to reassure Egypt’s traditional allies and to build balanced relationships with them.