(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Egypt’s ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces “embodies” the best of Egypt
and deserves the “full support of the world,” Amos Gilad, the head of the
defense ministry’s diplomatic-security bureau said on Tuesday.
“I am very
impressed by the stability and achievements of the Supreme Council,” Gilad said
in a speech to journalists and diplomats at a symposium on the changing Middle
East, sponsored by The Israel Project.
Gilad said that despite recent
events in Egypt, there is stability in the country – something he attributed to
the “smart leadership” of Mohamed Tantawi, who since February 11 has been the de
facto head of the country.
The stability, he said, was due to Tantawis’
“smart and sophisticated use of power in [the] face of unprecedented
Gilad, who has long been a key Israeli interlocutor with Egypt,
added that the Supreme Council was committed to the peace agreement with
“This [agreement] is very important, a valuable asset,” he
Gilad also noted that the supply of natural gas from Egypt has been
renewed, after being cut-off following an attack on the pipeline there in
February – adding that the Egyptians are committed to upholding that agreement
His comments came the day that Egypt’s ruling generals met with
newspaper editors and Egypt’s official news agency, and said they would not let
extremist Islamist groups take over the country.
The Egyptian general’s
remarks came amid increasing apprehension that the well-organized Islamic groups
– such as the Muslim Brotherhood – could win a dominant role in Egyptian
politics following the secluded elections there in September.
reports that Egypt was now considering a review of its diplomatic relations with
Iran – which have been poor since 1979 – Gilad said, “I don’t have a problem
with a review; what we deal with is policy.”
He said that in the dynamic
environment in which the region now finds itself, “there will be many
But, he added, the Egyptians have a “deep understanding”
about the true nature of Iran, and what a nuclear Iran would mean for the Arab
Gilad also said he was favorably impressed “by the stability” in
Jordan – even though King Abdullah II is facing “challenges there that are not
simple. They [the Hashemites] know how to maneuver.”
“All the terrorist
organizations are trying to use Jordan as a platform” for attacks on Israel and
the Palestinian Authority, he said – but they failed “because of the qualitative
performance and the wisdom of the regime.”