Egyptian Schools to Teach Peace Treaty With Israel for First Time

New history textbook devotes a section to the treaty and says that 'each side respecting the sovereignty and independence of the other,' Army Radio reports.

AP

The 1979 peace treaty between Israel and Egypt will be taught in Egyptian schools for the first time, according to a report by Army Radio on Tuesday.

The historic accord, signed in Washington by Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat under the auspices of United States President Jimmy Carter, has not been taught in Egyptian schools until now. 

Army Radio reported that one of its journalists had seen a new Egyptian history textbook that includes a chapter on the peace deal. 

The section on the treaty in the textbook speaks of the two countries having “ended the state of war” and of “each side respecting the sovereignty and independence of the other side,” according to the report.

AP

It said that the new textbook was part of a widespread overhaul of educational content for schools announced by the Egyptian Education Ministry two years ago. 

The role of former president Hosni Mubarak in the 1973 War – he was commander of the Egyptian air force – is significantly reduced in the book, compared to the portrayal of Mubarak when he was president.

Mubarak maintained good, if low-key, ties with Israel. That changed when the president was ousted in 2011 and a Muslim Brotherhood government headed by Mohammed Morsi was elected in June 2012.

But Morsi's overthrow by then-army chief Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in July 2013 led to improved ties and cooperation. Jerusalem reopened its embassy in Cairo last September, five years after Israeli diplomats were forced to flee the building when protesters stormed it.