CAIRO — Egypt’s newly elected president sent an implicit message of reassurance to Israel in his first major address after taking office, but also pledged support for the “legitimate rights” of the Palestinians.
“I announce from here that Egypt, its people and presidential institution stand with the Palestinian people until they regain all their legitimate rights,” said Morsi.
Although Morsi expressed support for the Syrian people and called for an end to the bloodshed, he also vowed that Egypt would not export revolution or intervene in other countries’ affairs.
Islamist Mohammed Morsi said Saturday that his administration will continue to honor its international treaties — an apparent reference to the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty, though he did not mention Israel by name. Israel and Egypt signed the peace treaty in 1979.
Morsi also vowed to defend and protect his country’s borders from all outside threats.
Relations between the two neighbors have become particularly tense since last year’s overthrow of Morsi’s predecessor, Hosni Mubarak, who had forged close ties with the Jewish state during his 29-year rule.
Morsi was sworn in Saturday as Egypt’s first freely elected president and the Arab world’s first Islamist head of state.
The rise to power of Egyptian Islamists has been a source of alarm among many Israelis. The last few months saw the storming of Israel’s embassy in Cairo, the abrogation of an Egyptian deal to supply Israel with natural gas, and a series of cross-border incidents, notably including the killings of eight Israelis by terrorists who infiltrated from the Egyptian Sinai into southern Israel last August.