In talks with diplomatic officials Wednesday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu noted that Israel's interest is maintaining the peace with Egypt, a Government Press Office statement said. Israel believes that the international community must insist that any Egyptian government maintain the peace treaty with Israel, the government statement added.
"Israel is a democracy and supports the advance of liberal and democratic values in the Middle East. The advancement of those values is good for peace.
"But if extremist forces are allowed to exploit democratic processes to come to power to advance anti-democratic goals – as has happened in Iran and elsewhere – the outcome will be bad for peace and bad for democracy."
Netanyahu has been careful not to make statements about the Egypt situation until now and sternly instructed his ministers to refrain from commenting when the demonstrations and rioting there broke out. The statement to diplomats reflects Israel's concern that the apparent overthrow of the regime of Hosni Mubarak could lead to the installation of a more Islamist government. The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt has vowed to annul the 1979 peace treaty with Egypt if elected.
Egyptian President Mubarak announced on Tuesday
that he will not be seeking another term as president. He said, however, that he does not intend on stepping down before the scheduled presidential elections in September.