Peace treaty with Israel is 'dead,' says leading Egyptian presidential candidate

Tuesday, May 01, 2012 |  Ryan Jones

Amr Moussa, the current frontrunner in Egypt's first presidential election campaign since the fall of former dictator Hosni Mubarak, said on Monday that Egypt's peace treaty with Israel was only ever about birthing a Palestinian state, and is now "dead."

Speaking to voters in southern Egypt, Moussa declared, "The Camp David agreements do not exist anymore. They are an historic document whose place is now on the shelf. The purpose of the agreement with Israel was to establish an independent Palestinian state."

Moussa stressed that did not mean that as president he would cancel the peace treaty with Israel. Rather, he insisted that Israel-Egypt relations are now governed by the 2002 Saudi-authored Arab League peace proposal, which promises Israel peace with its neighbors in exchange for meeting all Arab land demands.

In other words, if Israel adequately complies with demands that it surrender Judea, Samaria and the entire eastern half of Jerusalem, Egypt will maintain the cold peace that has existed between the two nations since 1979.

As one of the few candidates not affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood or another of Egypt's Islamist factions, Moussa is seen as a "moderate" leader and a desirable counter-balance to Muslim Brotherhood control of the parliament.

However, during his previous stints as Egypt's foreign minister and secretary-general of the Arab League, Moussa has made it clear that harbors no love for the Jewish state, and sees the Camp David Accords as little more than an agreement of convenience. His latest remarks would seem to reinforce that assessment.

A poll published this week by the Al-Ahram Center for Political Studies predicted Moussa winning 41.1 percent of the vote when Egyptians go to the polls later this month. His closest challenger is Abdel-Moneim Abolfotoh, a former Muslim Brotherhood leader who after leaving the group has gained broad support from Muslims, Christians and more secular Egyptians. Abolfotoh was shown winning just over 27 percent of the vote.

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