Morsi statements raise fears in Israel
The new Egyptian president, Mohamed Morsi, has called for strengthening relations between Iran and Egypt, severed for more than 30 years. He also announced he wanted to "revise" the peace accords with Israel, in an interview with the Iranian Fars news agency.
The strengthening of relations between Iran and Egypt "will create a regional strategic balance and is part of my program," said Mr. Morsi in an interview with Fars, hours before the official announcement of his victory at the presidential election.
Mr. Morsi added that Egypt would "review the Camp David Accords" which established peace with Israel. "But all this is done by governmental bodies and the cabinet, because I will not take any decision alone," he said.
"Our policy towards Israel will be based on equality because we are not inferior to them. We will discuss the right of Palestinians because it is very important," added Mr. Morsi.
Mr. Morsi has also rejected the recent constitutional declaration by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), in power in Egypt since the downfall of Hosni Mubarak, which granted it extended powers after the dissolution of the Parliament. "The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces does not have the right to amend the Constitution and I reject the constitutional declaration that limits the prerogatives of the president," said Mr. Morsi, calling the SCAF to "immediately handover the powers" .
Meanwhile, Israeli officials foresee a possible challenge to the peace treaty with Egypt, after the election of Morsi. However, its was first concerned with the deteriorating situation on the border between the two countries .
"Israel will continue its cooperation with the Egyptian government on the basis of the peace treaty that meets the mutual interests of both peoples and contribute to regional stability," said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement.
Questioned by AFP, a senior Israeli official said on condition of anonymity that "the victory of the Islamists is not likely to reassure Israel (...) We hope a pragmatic attitude on their part." "Israel and Egypt are subject to the same requirements, security along the border of 240 km, the negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and economic interests," he added.
"There is now at the head an Egyptian man who has never hidden his hostility to Israel," told public radio Labour MP Binyamin Ben Eliezer, former defense minister, and close to the ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak. "We must seek dialogue with Islamists and at the same time we should prepare for war," he said.
He said "Israel must expect difficulties along its border with Sinai (Egypt), which turned into a sanctuary for terrorist groups, including Al Qaeda."