Amr Moussa: Egypt is committed to peace with Israel, but…

Amr Moussa: Egypt is committed to peace with Israel, but…

Leading presidential candidate also invokes Arab League plan and speaks of reviewing 1979 treaty's security clauses

Elhanan Miller is the former Arab affairs reporter for The Times of Israel

Amr Moussa (photo credit: Wissam Nassar/ FLASH90)
Amr Moussa (photo credit: Wissam Nassar/ FLASH90)

Amr Moussa, Egypt’s former foreign minister and today a leading candidate for the country’s presidency, said Tuesday that his country is committed to peace with Israel, but that some aspects of the 1979 accord need reviewing.

In a meeting with members of the American Chamber of Commerce in Cairo, Moussa said, however, that Egypt’s relations with Israel are governed by the Arab Peace Initiative endorsed in Beirut in 2002 — a blueprint for regional peace, focused on an Israeli-Palestinian accord, that some Israeli leaders have rejected, others have said can serve as a basis for negotiation, but that has gained little substantive headway.

Moussa also hinted that Egypt may ask to increase its security presence in the Sinai peninsula. “Egypt is committed to the peace accords with Israel. However, there are some appendices that require review, especially with regards to security inside Sinai,” Moussa was quoted as saying by independent Egyptian daily Al-Masry Al-Youm.

As the presidential campaign in Egypt gains steam, Islamist and secular politicians have called on the government to reexamine Egypt’s 1979 peace accord with Israel, with some even advocating its annulment.

Amr Moussa served as Egypt’s minister of foreign affairs under ousted president Hosni Mubarak from 1991 to 2001 and as secretary-general of the Arab League from 2001 to 2011 and was considered a harsh critic of Israel. In recent polls, Moussa tops the list of presidential candidates ahead of elections scheduled for May.


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