"The era of foot-dragging and evasion has ended" – this is the message Egypt is relaying to Israel through a series of op-eds on the heels of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to Sharm el-Sheikh Monday.
"During the meeting (in Sharm) President Hosni Mubarak conveyed more than one message to the Israeli prime minister, who is deceitful and is known for his foot-dragging and evasion tactics," the editor of the el-Gomhuriah newspaper wrote.
"The president's comments conveyed the message that the goal is clear – the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel," Muhammad Ali Ibrahim wrote in his article. "There is no turning back and there is no possibility of trying new things or postponing the implementation of what past Israeli governments had agreed on under the pretense that Likud (Netanyahu's party) was not a part of the decision-making process."
According to the el-Gomhuriah editor, during the meeting with the Israeli PM Mubarak relayed another "very important" message, according to which "Egypt and Israel have nothing to discuss apart from the Palestinian issue.
"There is nothing that binds Egypt and Israel apart from a solution to the Israeli-Arab conflict; Egypt will not back Israel's aggression towards Iran over its nuclear program. The animosity between Cairo and Tehran is based on other disagreements, and the attempts by the Israeli media to claim that Iran's nuclear program threatens Egypt just as much as it threatens Israel is merely an attempt to drive a wedge between Egypt and a number of Arab countries," he wrote.
Osama Saraya, editor-in-chief of the state-run al-Ahram newspaper, said in his article that prior to the Israeli PM's visit to Sharm, pundits had postulated that "he has changed since his previous tenure as PM, when the peace process was frozen.
"The question is whether Netanyahu, who is currently formulating his policy through a series of meetings, which he kicked off in Egypt, will go down in history like (Menachem) Begin and (Yitzhak) Rabin – as (Israeli President Shimon) Peres clamed during the recent AIPAC meeting – or will turn out like his political mentor, former Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, and be subject to internal political pressure."
Another opinion piece published in al-Ahram stated that "this is not the time for evasion tactics. The establishment of an independent Palestinian state in accordance with the two state solution is the main issue that interests Egypt…we cannot ignore the Israeli evasion tactics, which took away any hope for a solution to the Palestinian problem."