PM welcomes Egypt military pledge to maintain peace treaty

Netanyahu says treaty "is a cornerstone of peace and stability"; opposition groups say they will end Cairo protest but will maintain pressure to implement democratic reforms.

By ASSOCIATED PRESS, JPOST.COM STAFF
February 12, 2011 19:19
2 minute read.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu

Netanyahu speech 311 . (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Saturday welcomed a pledge by the Egyptian military to maintain the peace treaty between the two countries. Netanyahu said the treaty "is a cornerstone of peace and stability in the Middle East."

His announcement came after Egypt's military rulers promised the country will abide by its international agreements, a nod to allay concerns that Egypt's peace deal with Israel could be threatened following the ouster of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

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The military has also asked the current government, appointed by Mubarak, to continue operating until a new one is formed. It also says it is committed to eventually handing over power to an elected administration.

Saturday's military statement is its first indication of the next steps after Mubarak's fall, but left unanswered the question of how long the current government would stay in place.

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Egypt



Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman stressed that Israel wanted "regional stability to be preserved and the peace treaty respected."

He said that Israel was not interested "in Egypt's internal affairs."

Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz on Saturday also voiced his support for the Egyptian army's decision and said it was "a good announcement."

"Peace is not only in the interest of Israel but also of Egypt. I am very happy with this announcement," Steinitz said.

Also on Saturday, the main coalition of youth and opposition groups in Egypt said it will end its protest in a central Cairo square. But the groups said they will call for weekly demonstrations to maintain pressure on the ruling military to implement democratic reforms.

The group listed its demands at a press conference and said they want hated emergency laws to be lifted, parliament to be dissolved and a committee to amend the constitution, among others. Some protesters not linked to the coalition say they'll stay camped on Tahrir Square, and it's not immediately clear when the downtown area will be cleared.


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