Moussa says he would maintain Egypt's peace with Israel

Egyptian presidential hopeful says Cairo has "a responsibility to lay the foundations for peace," but may rethink gas deal.

By JPOST.COM STAFF, REUTERS
March 9, 2011 03:28
2 minute read.
Arab League Secretary-General Amir Moussa.

Amir Moussa 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Outgoing Arab League chief and Egyptian presidential hopeful Amr Moussa on Tuesday suggested that he would maintain the peace treaty with Israel if he were to win in elections later this year, The Associated Press reported.

“We as Egyptians have a responsibility to lay the foundations for peace... We cannot rebuild Egypt... while adopting an adventurous foreign policy,” he said. “We would be kidding ourselves” if Egyptians didn’t recognize Israel as a state.

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Moussa added, however, that he would reconsider the terms of a deal by which Egypt sells Israel natural gas.

The Arab League chief said he wanted presidential elections to come before people vote for a new legislature, and that he would run for president for only one term.

“In my opinion the presidential elections should come before the parliamentary one, as the parliament election needs to have strong parties,” the 74-year-old told a crowd of youth at a cultural center late on Tuesday.

A poll on the website of Al- Ahram daily newspaper last week showed Moussa with a big lead over Mohamed ElBaradei, the Nobel prize-winning former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The military men who run the country after mass protests forced Mubarak out of office on February 11 said they planned to transfer power to civilian rule by holding a parliamentary vote, then a presidential one, within six months.

Critics say this is too quick for parties to get established and gives an advantage to remnants of Mubarak’s National Democratic Party and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Constitutional reforms, to be finalized by a referendum on March 19, will forbid any president from serving more than two consecutive four-year terms.

“Egypt is on the right track and the revolution could not be defeated but there are obstacles,” Moussa said. “There should be a cancellation of emergency law and we should all fight corruption.”

He defended the right of the Brotherhood to political participation.

“We have to move away the principle of rejecting the Brotherhood or any other group...

Leave it to the people to choose who they want,” Moussa said.


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