Egyptian Presidential Candidate 'Ready to Visit Israel'
Egyptian presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq said on Wednesday that he would be ready to visit Israel, Channel 10 News reported.
Shafiq, who served as deposed leader Hosni Mubarak's last prime minister, said, “I am ready to visit Israel, provided it gives something to show it has good intentions.” He made the comments during an appearance on a local television program, according to Channel 10.
During the interview, which dealt with the upcoming presidential election in Egypt, Shafiq said that the first country which he intends to visit after the presidential election is the United States. He said his decision stems from the fact that Egypt has many interests relating to the United States.
Shafiq clarified in the interview that if a parliamentary system of government is approved in Egypt, he will quit the race for the presidency. Shafiq expressed opposition to granting all powers to the prime minister, while leaving the president with limited powers.
Shafiq was disqualified after the Islamist-dominated parliament passed a law barring former senior officials from the Mubarak regime from running for office. The commission later referred the law to the constitutional court, and reinstated Shafiq.
Earlier this week, Amr Moussa, a frontrunner in the Egyptian presidential race, criticized the peace agreement between Israel and Egypt and said that “the Camp David accords were dead and buried long ago.”
A poll released on Monday by the Egyptian Al-Ahram newspaper gave Moussa 41.1 percent of the votes. Presidential contender Abdel Moneim Abul-Fotouh, former Muslim Brotherhood leader, took 27.3 percent of the votes. Shafiq came in third and achieved 11.9 percent of votes.