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Egyptian Ambassador Summoned to Explain Treaty Remarks

Egypt's ambassador summoned explain remarks by Prime Minister Sharaf that Cairo's treaty with Israel was open to change.
By Gabe Kahn.
First Publish: 9/16/2011, 4:18 PM

Yasser Reda
Yasser Reda
Screen Capture

Foreign ministry officials summoned the Egyptian ambassador to Israel to clarify statements made by Prime Minister Essam Sharaf that "the peace agreement with Israel is not sacred and is always open for discussion."

Foreign Ministry director Rafi Barak expressed indignation at such recent statements by senior Egyptian officials, including that of Prime Minister Esam Sharaf. He stressed to the Egyptian ambassador, Yasser Reda, at the meeting that the agreements should be honored literally.

On Thursday, in an interview with a Turkish television station, the Prime Minister of Egypt said the peace treaty with Israel is not sacred, and is always open for discussion.

According to Sharaf, the agreement could be changed if it "would benefit the region and help create a just peace."

Altering the 1979 Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty would require the consent of its signatories - Egypt, Israel, and the United States.

Both Israel and the United States sharply oppose such changes despite anti-Israel sentiments surging down the Nile.

Egypt's caretaker junta - aware billions in US aid dollars are tied to the treaty - have tried to downplay calls to amend the agreement by populist politicians pandering to the mood on Cairo's streets.