Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has asked U.S. President Barack Obama and a number of other Western leaders in recent days to make it clear to any new Egyptian regime that it must abide fully by the peace agreement with Israel.
Senior Israeli officials said that Netanyahu would like the international community to make it clear to any new Egyptian leadership that will emerge that it must meet a series of conditions in return for receiving legitimacy in the eyes of the West - similar to those posed to Hamas following the Islamist movement's victory in Palestinian elections. The Mideast Quartet had demanded, and still requires, that in return for recognition, Hamas relinquish terrorism, recognize Israel and accept as binding previous negotiated agreements between the Palestine Liberation Organization and Israel.
Although Netanyahu is not drawing a comparison between Hamas rule and a new Egyptian government, he would like to see, along with demands for democracy and respect for human rights, that the international community set as a condition that any new government in Cairo abide by the international agreements to which the Mubarak regime had signed, according to officials.
"The matter was made clear to the Americans and many other countries," a senior official in Jerusalem said. "We are not opposed to democracy in Egypt but it is important for us to preserve the peace agreement."
The Prime Minister's Bureau issued a special statement yesterday to clarify the Israeli position on the situation in Egypt.
"Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel's interest is to preserve the peace with Egypt," the message read. "Israel believes that the international community must require any Egyptian government to preserve the peace agreement with Israel."
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