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Knesset Marks 34 Years Since Sadat Visit

Speaker Reuven Rivlin marked the visit of late Egyptian leader Anwar Sadat saying 'peace with Egypt is far from over."
By Gabe Kahn.
First Publish: 11/21/2011, 9:27 PM

Sadat in Jerusalem
Sadat in Jerusalem
Library of Congress

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin on Monday that Israel's "peace with Egypt is far from over."

Rivlin's remarks, made during a Knesset event marking 34 years since late Egyptian leader Anwar Sadat's visit to Jerusalem, were in response to former Defense Minister Benjamin Ben Eliezer.

Earlier Monday, Ben Eliezer said Israel could not afford to cut its defense budget because, in the long-term, he expected conflict between Egypt and the Jewish state to resume.

Rivlin said, "Ben-Eliezer's opinion is that only Palestinian-Israeli negotiations will prevent the waves of anger of the masses Tahrir Square. However, I believe such statements, which even hint Israel is responsible for what happens in Egypt, are unnecessary."

"Individuals do not guarantee individuals the continuation of our peace treaty with Egypt. Only the Egyptian people will determine their fate, and their own destiny. The fate of their relationship with Israel is in their hands, not ours.

"One does not have to be Begin, Sadat or Mubarak to uphold international agreements. The peace agreement with Egypt is a binding international treaty and is in the clear mutual interests of both countries."

Regarding civil unrest in Egypt, Rivlin said, "Only adherence to the values ​​of democracy will lead to calm in Egypt. We welcome that the Egyptian people will participate in their country's first democratic elections next week."

"We repeat today and declare, to the people and leadership in Egypt, that our commitment to uphold our peace agreement with them is firm - and that we will seek mutual cooperation throughout the Middle East."

Rivlin finished, saying, "Thirty-four years have passed since Sadat's hopeful visit to our country. I thank the Prime Minister of Israel, and the heads of the Egyptian government, who are doing all they can, sensibly and sensitively, to ensure that Sadat's visit of hope will not have been in vain."