Israeli prime ministerial envoy Yitzhak Molcho met last week with top military and intelligence officials in Cairo, ushering in the era of Egypt’s new Islamist president with hopes that the peace accords between the two countries will remain solid, according to Maariv.
While in Cairo during the weekend of Mohammed Morsi’s swearing-in ceremony, Molcho reportedly met with Major-General Murad Muwafi, the director of the Egyptian General Intelligence Directorate and with Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the commander-in-chief of Egypt’s Armed Forces.
Molcho discussed with the Egyptians ways in which the two countries can cooperate to fight terror and to prevent smuggling into Israel and Gaza from the Sinai Peninsula. He also reiterated Israel’s stand on the need to honor the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt as laid down in the 1979 Camp David Accords.
Molcho also delivered a personal letter from Netanyahu to Morsi, urging the new president to continue cooperation with Israel and stating that maintaining peace is in the “interest of both countries and contributes to regional stability.”
Molcho asked the Egyptians to make clear to Hamas its responsibility for whatever happens in the Gaza Strip.
Molcho and the Egyptians discussed ways in which the IDF might cooperate with the Egyptian army to re-establish control over the chaotic Sinai Peninsula, which has recently become a hotbed for terrorism and smuggling. One suggestion was to place Egyptian commandos at key points along the border.
In Israel, there has been concern over Morsi’s intentions regarding the Israel-Egypt peace treaty. While Morsi has pledged to “honor international treaties and agreements,” he has not specifically mentioned the treaty with Israel, causing some to wonder about his intentions. Morsi is from the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, a movement which in the past has opposed any cooperation with Israel.