Saturday, February 12, 2011

Egypt Tries To Calm Israeli Fears

Updated at 4:15 p.m. est

Assuring Israel that nothing has changed since the historic 1979 Camp David Accords was the first public act of engaging in foreign policy by the military government in Egypt.

“The Arab Republic of Egypt is committed to all regional and international obligations and treaties,” a senior military officer said in a statement read this morning on state-owned television.

UPDATE: President Obama welcomed the statement in conversations today with the leaders of Britain, Jordan and Turkey.

"The President welcomed the historic change that has been made by the Egyptian people, and reaffirmed his admiration for their efforts. He also welcomed the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces’ announcement today that it is committed to a democratic civilian transition, and will stand by Egypt’s international obligations," the White House said in a statement.

"The President emphasized his conviction that democracy will bring more – not less – stability to the region.  He also stressed the U.S. commitment to provide the support that is necessary and requested by the Egyptian people to pursue a credible and orderly transition to democracy, including by working with international partners to provide financial support," the statement added.

Egypt's initial statement  was meant to ease concerns aired publicly by the leaders of Israel, the oldest Democracy in the Middle East, as well as its backers in the United States, who quickly took to the airwaves and issued press releases adorned with fears that Egyptian democracy was a blight on the Jewish state next door.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has publicly warned that one of the scenarios under the Egyptian Revolution could be the emergence of another Iran-like Islamic state, welcomed the statement from the military government.

"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," the Israeli leader said in a written statement.

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