Egypt's Morsi
Photo: AFP
Morsi: Don’t expect improvement in Israel ties
Egyptian president says won't host any Israeli leader until peace with Palestinians achieved

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has said he won't visit Israel, nor would he host an Israeli leader in Egypt, before peace is achieved between Israel and the Palestinians.


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In a lengthy two-hour interview with the Qatari television news channel Al-Jazeera, Morsi said true peace could not exist as long as Palestinians were denied their rights. He cited Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel, saying “The peace treaty clearly states, ‘just and comprehensive peace for the nations of the region.’ I refer to the Palestinian people. Where is just and comprehensive peace for the Palestinian people?”


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Relations between Israel and Egypt have deteriorated in the wake of the popular Egyptian uprising of January 2011, and the coming to power of an Islamist government headed by Morsi. Egyptian demonstrators ransacked the Israeli embassy in Cairo in September 2011, and the embassy has yet to be reopened. Morsi said he could not foresee normalization of relations with Israel in the future.


The Egyptian president has been the target of wide-reaching international criticism after he called Jews “apes and pigs” in a recently-surfaced video of a speech he made in 2010, and telling US senators his country is unfairly treated by international media.


In the interview with Al-Jazeera, Morsi claimed Israel is responsible for a systematic information campaign aimed at demeaning Egypt and justifying what he called “decades-long” Israeli expansion.



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