Egypt tells J'lem it is committed to the peace accord

In first officially announced meeting, Cairo's foreign minister says peace is secure, expresses need for "justice, peace" in Gaza.

By REUTERS
March 24, 2011 20:49
1 minute read.
Egyptian honor guard in Cairo

Egyptian honor guard in Cairo 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Amel Pain/Pool)

 
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CAIRO - Egypt's foreign minister told an Israeli official on Thursday that Cairo was committed to its international treaties, Egypt's foreign ministry said, reiterating that the countries' peace accord is secure.

It was the first publicly announced meeting between an Egyptian and an Israeli official since Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was toppled from power on Feb. 11 and handed power to the military.

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A day after it took power, the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces said it was committed to Egypt's international treaties in an early message to reassure Jerusalem and the United States.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Elaraby, appointed as part of a reshuffle earlier this month, reiterated that message in a meeting in Cairo with Rafi Barak, a senior Foreign Ministry official, the statement said.

The peace accord with Egypt in 1979 was Israel's first with an Arab country and has been a cornerstone of the state's security.

Elaraby also discussed the need for serious efforts to realize "justice and comprehensive peace," and the situation in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.

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On Gaza, Elaraby confirmed Egypt's "firm position on the need to take into consideration the humanitarian issues and holds Israel responsible for them as an occupying force."

Egypt has played a role in the blockade on the territory.

Egypt's policy towards Gaza was the focus of heavy criticism from many in Egypt, particularly in the last year when Mubarak's government began building an underground barrier to thwart tunnelers who were supplying goods to Gaza underground.

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