There is little chance that Israel will maintain high-level diplomatic channels with an increasingly radicalized Egypt, a top Israeli security official said Friday.
Defense Ministry department director Amos Gilad told students in Herzliya that the election of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Morsi as president in Egypt had led to all but frozen ties between Jerusalem and Cairo.
“There’s no talking between our diplomatic corps and theirs, and I believe there will not be in the future. [Morsi] won’t talk with us,” he said.
Morsi’s election has worried some officials in Israel, who fear that the Islamist president will move to change the terms of Israel and Egypt’s 1979 peace treaty, which has held a cold peace between the countries.
Gilad slammed Morsi’s regime, saying its rise to power boded ill for the region.
“Out of a desire for democracy, grew a horrifying dictatorship,” he said.
Gilad, a top aide to Defense Minister Ehud Barak, said Israel needed to make sure the treaty with Egypt stayed in place, no matter the cost.
“We need to keep the peace treaty with Egypt at any price,” he said, adding that the country did not want to have to send troops against Egypt.
Morsi has said he will respect the treaty, but has downplayed any chance of high-level contact with Jerusalem.
In July, President Shimon Peres received a friendly letter from Morsi hoping for security and stability in the region, but Morsi’s office denied ever sending the letter.
A letter sent last month with Egypt’s envoy to Israel called Peres a “great and good friend.” After the publication of the letter caused a small uproar in the Arab world, Cairo claimed the text was standard and did not mean anything special.