Egypt: We are committed to peace treaty with Israel

September 17, 2011 04:50

Cairo says accords will be honored, after J'lem summons envoy to clarify Egyptian PM's statements that agreement "not sacred."

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Clash at Israel embassy in Cairo

Clash at Israel embassy in Cairo. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Cairo on Friday clarified that it is committed to the peace treaty with Israel after controversial statements by Egyptian Prime Minister Issam Sharaf led the Foreign Ministry to summon Egypt's ambassador to its Jerusalem offices.

In an interview with a Turkish television station Thursday, the Egyptian prime minister said the peace treaty with Israel is "not sacred, and is always open for discussion." According to Sharaf, the agreement could be changed if it "would benefit the region and help create a just peace."

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An Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Foreign Ministry Director General Rafi Barak told Egyptian envoy Yasser Reda that treaties must be honored to the letter.

Following the summoning of the Egyptian ambassador for clarification on the matter, a Foreign Ministry official in Cairo was quoted by Egyptian news agency MENA as saying that Egypt respected all its international obligations and was committed to the agreements it had signed, "including the Vienna Treaty concerning diplomatic relations and the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty, so long that the other party abides by the letter and spirit of its commitments."

Israel has also asked for help to enable its Cairo embassy to return to normal operations, MENA added.

Relations between Egypt and Israel, strained since President Hosni Mubarak was ousted in February, spiraled into crisis last Saturday when protesters in Cairo stormed a building where the Jewish state's embassy is based, forcing most of its diplomats to flee Egypt.

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