Morsi's Adviser: Amending Peace Treaty 'a Matter of Time'
An adviser to Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi said on Wednesday that amending the 1979 peace treaty signed with Israel is "a matter of time," the Egyptian daily Al-Masry Al-Youm reported.
The adviser added that such a move is necessary to restore full Egyptian control over Sinai.
Mohamed Essmat Seif al-Dawla, who has been publicly advocating the move, was quoted as having told Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jareeda in an interview published on Wednesday, "There is no reason for keeping a treaty unchanged for three decades."
He added that the 1979 accord "preserves Israel's national security more than Egypt's, which constitutes a blatant violation of Egyptian sovereignty," and that it would not endure under Egypt's new leaders.
Dawla, a member of the activist Kefaya movement and one the opponents of ousted President Hosni Mubarak, is an engineer and a researcher for national issues. He also belongs to an anti-Zionist group, Egypt’s state news agency MENA reported.
"While Israel has only three kilometers of limited armament zones within its soils, known as Zone D, Egypt has A, B, and C zones in the Sinai Peninsula with different degrees of armament," he said, according to Al-Masry Al-Youm.
Dawla said the agreement means Egypt is deprived of control over large areas that have turned into a hotbed for criminal activity and "espionage networks."
"I am reflecting the opinion of the Egyptian public and the political forces which, despite their disagreement, concur on the need to amend, or cancel, the treaty," he added.
Dawla said he had earlier called for organizing political events to pressure decision-makers to modify the treaty.
Since Mubarak’s ouster there have been growing calls by the Muslim Brotherhood, to which Morsi belongs, to amend the peace treaty with Israel.
An official with the Muslim Brotherhood recently said that the peace accord between Israel and Egypt has caused Egyptians to suffer from “endemic diseases”.
The comments by Ahmad Sabi', media advisor for the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party in Egypt, aired on Al-Alam TV in August. The comments were translated and uploaded by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
Morsi has said that the peace treaty with Israel will remain intact, but has refrained from saying whether he would agree to meet any Israeli leaders. He said Egypt would adopt a "balanced" foreign policy in order to safeguard its interests.
Egyptian Defense Minister Abdul Fatah al-Sisi spoke made similar comments during a conversation with his Israeli counterpart, Ehud Barak, an Arabic newspaper reported on August 24.