Egypt's radical Islamist party vows to respect peace treaty with Israel
Salafi Al-Nour party says will welcome talks with Israel; new Israeli envoy in Cairo says will try to open communication channels with Islamist groups.
Egypt's radical Salafi movement has announced for the first time that it intends to respect all treaties that Egypt has signed, including the peace deal with Israel.
The Salafi Al-Nour party, which won 25-30 percent of the votes in the first round of Egypt's parliamentary elections, said that they are also in favor of negotiating with Israel.
Meanwhile, a senior diplomatic official in Jerusalem said Sunday that Israel's new ambassador in Cairo, Yaakov Amitai, will attempt to open communication channels with Islamic officials in Egypt, including representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood and the radical Salafi movement's Al-Nour Party.
The source said Israel must engage in dialogue with Islamic representatives in the relatively friendly Arab countries, including representatives of the fundamentalist Salafi parties such as Al-Nour - if they agree to talk.
"We should make every effort to explain that we are not the enemies of the Egyptian people or enemies of the Palestinians," the official said, adding, "The Palestinians cannot continue to hold the Arab world by the tail."
In an interview with Egyptian journalists, Amitai - who only assumed his position in Cairo six days ago - was asked if he was concerned about the political rise of the Muslim Brotherhood.
He replied that he did not wish to get involved in Egypt's internal affairs and needed to study the situation further.
Until now, the Israeli government has not attempted to open official contacts with the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Jerusalem official's comments are unusual in light of the Brotherhood's failure to recognize Israel.
However, representatives of the Islamic movement have told American diplomats that the group did not intend to seek the revocation of Egypt's peace treaty with Israel.