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Merkel: Egypt must keep peace with Israel

ByASSOCIATED PRESS
February 11, 2011 21:50

EU's Ashton calls for dialogue to form broad-based gov't; UN's Ban says the "voice of the Egyptian people has been heard."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Angela Merkel 311. (photo credit:Associated Press)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday said it is crucial that Egypt's new leadership is committed to the Mideast peace process and lives up to its obligations toward Israel.

She welcomed Egyptian President Mubarak's departure in the face of pro-democracy protests as "a historic change" and a "day of great joy."



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But, Merkel said, "We also expect the future Egyptians governments will uphold peace in the Middle East and respect the treaties concluded with Israel, and that Israel's safety will be guaranteed."

Israel's greatest concern has been that its 1979 peace treaty with Egypt might not survive under a new government, especially if Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood — the largest and most organized opposition group — gains influence. The Brotherhood has opposed the treaty.

EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton on Friday said she respects Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's decision to resign and called for dialogue to form a broad-based government, Reuters reported.

Ashton stated that the European Union shares the Egyptian peoples desire for an orderly transition to a democratic government and free elections.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reacted to the resignation of Mubarak on Friday, saying the "voice of the Egyptian people" had been heard.

He called for a peaceful and orderly transition to democracy.







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