“Israel must wait for the official election results, but has no choice but to sit down opposite whoever wins,” said Labor MK Binyamin Ben-Eliezer hours after Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Morsi claimed victory over former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq in the runoff Egyptian presidential elections, Monday morning.
Ben-Eliezer, a former defense minister and a longtime friend of ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, said in an interview to Israel Radio that Israel has woken up to a new reality of a “more religious, more Islamic world,” but that it has to do everything to bring about dialogue with Egypt’s next president.
“I hope that Morsi’s statements about updating the constitution and canceling the peace treaty with Israel will not be realized, but have no idea what will happen,” said Ben-Eliezer. “Peace is as much in the Egyptians’ interest as it is our own, and I hope that whoever the new leader is will recognize that.”
Ben-Eliezer added that he believed that renewing negotiations with the Palestinians would go a long way towards improving relations with Egypt.