Both the ruling Egyptian military council and Israel pledged allegiance on Sunday to the 32- year old peace treaty, reassuring themselves and the international community as the region woke up for the first time in three decades to a world without Hosni Mubarak as Egypt’s president.
Speaking at the weekly cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu reiterated in his own voice what he said in a statement the day before, “The government of Israel welcomes the Egyptian military statement that Egypt will continue to honor its peace agreement with Israel. The peace agreement with Israel has stood for many years.
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During this period, all Egyptian governments have upheld and advanced it, and we believe that it is the cornerstone of peace and stability, not only between the two countries, but in the entire Middle East as well.”
Later in the day, the Egyptian military leaders who took control of the country said in their communiqué dissolving parliament that it would abide by all of Egypt’s international and regional treaties, most importantly the peace treaty with Israel.
Netanyahu, speaking to Likud ministers before the cabinet meeting, said that since the situation in Egypt was still unfolding, it was important for Israel to continue maintaining a low profile, and for the ministers to continue to refrain from commenting publicly on the situation.
Nevertheless, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, in an ABC interview aired on Sunday but taped on Thursday, before Mubarak stepped down, said he did not feel that the Israeli-Egyptian relationship was at risk.
He said he did not think there “was any kind of operational risk waiting for us around the corner. There might be certain minor issues, consequences and implications in Sinai, but that is not a main issue right now. We will take care of our security.”
Regarding the situation in Jordan, Barak said he thought Jordan was “strong.”
“I think that they will hold on,” he said. “I believe that they’ve already opened their parliament and their system, the press and others, to many voices...And I hope and wish that they will remain stable for a long time.”
Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, meanwhile, told the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations meeting in Jerusalem that even as there was currently a great deal of uncertainty in the region, it was important to remember that the central threat to stability and security in the region was not the changes in Tunisia and Egypt, but rather the “extremist regime in Iran,” and its subsidiaries: radical Islam, Hizbullah and Hamas.
The world, Ayalon said, has once again seen that Israel is the source of security, stability and democracy in the region.