US: Brotherhood says it won't break Israel treaty
LAST UPDATED: 01/06/2012 10:20
State Department says US received private assurances from Islamist party contradicting its public statements on peace.
Egyptian women walk past Muslim Brotherhood poster Photo: REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
The Muslim Brotherhood assured the United States that it will not break
the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty despite public statements to the
contrary, a State Department spokesperson said Thursday.
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"We have had other assurances from the party with regard to their
commitment not only to universal human rights, but to the international
obligations that the Government of Egypt has undertaken," State
Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland said in a briefing.
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The Muslim Brotherhood party’s deputy leader Dr. Rashad Bayoumi said the
group will not recognize Israel “under any circumstance,” in an
interview published in the Arabic daily al-Hayat on Sunday. “The Brotherhood respects international
conventions, but we will take legal action against the peace treaty with the
Zionist entity,” he told the newspaper.
Nuland said that the Muslim
Brotherhood was not a monolithic organization, and that the State
Department would continue to seek private reassurances on Egypt's
international obligations. "I would say that it is one member of the
MB," Nuland said of Bayoumi's comments. "We will judge these parties by
what they do."
whether it is a requirement for the government in Egypt to recognize Israel,
Bayoumi responded by saying: “This is not an option, whatever the circumstances,
we do not recognize Israel at all. It’s an occupying criminal enemy.”
deputy leader stressed during the interview that no Muslim Brotherhood members
would ever meet with Israelis for negotiations.“I will not allow myself to sit
down with criminals.”
In recent Egyptian elections the
Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) won 36.3 percent of the
while the ultra-conservative Salafi al-Nour Party took 28.8%. The
elections will determine the makeup of a parliament that will help draft
constitution after decades of autocratic rule.
The vote, staged over six
weeks, is the first free election Egypt has held after the 30-year rule of
president Hosni Mubarak, who routinely rigged polls before he was overthrown by
a popular uprising in February.
Reuters contributed to this report