Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood states ‘we did not promise to honor Israel peace treaty’
The popular Egyptian political movement rejected the US State Department’s claim that it had promised to respect the 1979 peace agreement between Israel and Egypt.
The Muslim Brotherhood denied on Saturday that it had assured Washington it would uphold the 1979 Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty.
US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters on Thursday that the Islamist movement, the clear victor in the first round of elections for the Egyptian Parliament, pledged to honor the various treaties signed by previous Cairo governments, including the peace deal with Israel.
Nuland insisted that the various political parties in Egypt have offered the US “good guarantees” that the peace treaty will be observed. She stressed that Washington fully expects all of Cairo’s political factions to honor the previous regime’s international agreements.
According to Essam al-Erian, deputy head of the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice party, the accords “are under the responsibility of the people and state institutions, and it would not be right for anyone to speak on behalf of the Egyptian people.” Speaking to the London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat, al-Erian said, “We are not in a position to give assurances.”
Rashad al-Bayoumi, the Brotherhood’s second in command, told Al-Hayat las week that “the Muslim Brotherhood will not recognize Israel under any circumstances and might put the peace treaty with the Jewish state up to a referendum.”
The Brotherhood, he added, “did not sign the peace accords… We are allowed to ask the people or the elected parliament to express their opinion on the treaty, and (to find out) whether it compromised the people’s freedom and sovereignty. We will take the proper legal steps in dealing with the peace deal. To me, it isn’t binding at all. The people will express their opinion on the matter.”