Both President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu have sent separate letters to Egypt’s new Islamist president, congratulating him on his election victory and calling for continued peace between the neighboring countries, The Associated Press reported Sunday.
Mohammed Morsi was sworn in as president of Egypt on Saturday. In a speech following the ceremony, he promised to work for “a better tomorrow,” and for a “new Egypt.”
The letters from Netanyahu and Peres were Israel’s first official communications with Morsi since his election.
An official in Netanyahu’s office confirmed in a conversation with AP that the letter emphasized the importance of maintaining the peace treaty. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was discussing a sensitive diplomatic matter.
The text was not released to AP, but a report on the Hebrew daily Ma’ariv’s website said that Netanyahu wrote Morsi that “the peace agreement is in the interests of both peoples and contributes to regional stability.”
Peres wrote in his letter, “Peace has saved the lives of countless young people in Egypt and in Israel.” His office released the text to AP on Sunday and said the letter was sent Thursday.
Ma’ariv reported that various U.S. government agencies served as mediators in delivering Israel’s messages to the Muslim Brotherhood.
After he was declared the winner of the presidential election, Morsi vowed to “respect all international agreements,” presumably meaning the pact with Israel, though he did not mention Israel by name.
In a speech in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Friday, Morsi promised he’d be the president of all Egyptians and promised a “civilian state”.
In a meeting with Egyptian newspaper editors reported by most dailies on Friday, Morsi pledged there would be "no Islamization of state institutions" during his presidency. However, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) has reported that during his election campaign, Morsi reiterated his commitment to jihad and to the Islamic sharia law.