Netanyahu: Egypt-Israel Peace Is Cornerstone of Mideast Stability

Prime minister welcomes Egyptian military's pledge to maintain all international treaties, including its peace treaty with Israel, in wake of President Mubarak's ouster.

Israel welcomes an announcement by Egypt's ruling military pledging its continued support of the peace treaty between the two countries, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Saturday.

netanyahu - Alon Ron - February 11 2011
Alon Ron

Earlier Saturday, Egypt's army reassured its international allies that there would be no break in its peace deal with Israel following the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak, with a spokesman saying that the country Armed Forces Supreme Council was "commitment to all Egypt's international treaties."

In a reaction to the statement by the Egyptian military, Netanyahu stated that the "longstanding peace treaty between Israel and Egypt has greatly contributed to both countries and is the cornerstone for peace and stability in the entire Middle East."

In another reaction to Saturday's statement, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that Israel was not interested "in Egypt's internal affairs," adding that the only thing Israel wanted was that "regional stability be preserved and the peace treaty respected."

The FM's comment came after earlier Saturday Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz also voiced his support of the Egyptian statement, saying in an interview to Channel 2 that it was "a good announcement."

"Peace is not only in the interest of Israel but also of Egypt. I am very happy with this announcement," Steinitz said.

It was also reported that Defense Minister Barak conducted a phone conversation later Saturday with the head of Egypt's ruling military council, Defense Minister Mohammed Hussein Tantawi.

Israel has been deeply concerned that Egypt's turmoil could threaten the 1979 peace accord signed between the two countries.

The United States, Egypt's top ally, is also eager to ensure the accord remains in place. The military strongly supports the accord, not in small part because it guarantees U.S. aid for the armed forces, currently running at $1.3 billion a year.