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Morsi Says Letter for Peace a ‘Fake’

Muslim Brotherhood president says a letter for peace sent to Peres was a “fake,” but Israel explains the denial was for home consumption.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 8/1/2012, 7:32 AM

Muslim Brotherhood president Morsi
Muslim Brotherhood president Morsi
Reuters

Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi’s office has denied he sent a letter to President Shimon Peres indicating he wanted to work for peace in the Middle East

An Israeli official, who asked to remain anonymous, said the denial was to be expected, due to the sensitivity of the issue.

The letter that President Peres' office said it had received from Morsi was the first written communication to Israel since he took office last month.

The highly diplomatic letter distributed by Peres office stated, "I am looking forward to exerting our best efforts to get the Middle East peace process back to its right track in order to achieve security and stability for all peoples of the region, including (the) Israeli people."

Hours later, Morsi's spokesman Yasser Ali told Reuters, "The letter that the media reported to have been sent from President Morsi to Israel was fake. President Morsi has not sent anything to Israel.”

The Israel official, who spoke on the basis of anonymity, explained the accusation, saying that the letter “was received by the Egyptian ambassador and handed over (to Peres's office). The denial was to be expected, given the letter's high publicity in Israeli and Egyptian media.”

A second Israeli official described Morsi's letter as being one that gave "a general message with a positive spirit, but did not indicate any new direction" in bilateral relations

Israel has expected nothing less than hostility from its southern neighbor since the Islamist parliamentary victory last year and the Morsi’s election this year. Morsi was quoted more than once as speaking against the 1979 peace treat with Israel.

Morsi has not replied to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s congratulatory letter on his election victory.