Morsi Won't Change Peace Treaty Unilaterally, Claims Carter
Egypt's President Mohamned Morsi has "suggestions" for a change to his country's peace treaty with Israel, but will not implement them unilaterally, former U.S. president Jimmy Carter said on Tuesday, according to AFP.
"I have talked with President Morsi about the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt... and he has assured me that it would be honored by Egypt," Carter was quoted as having said in Cairo.
"He has suggestions for change, he told me this, and he understands also that any change in the treaty has to be approved by both sides. If it is done unilaterally by Egypt or Israel, the treaty would be destroyed," added Carter.
Egypt and Israel signed a peace treaty in 1979 at the White House witnessed by Carter, who was then president of the United States.
Morsi, a long-time member of the Muslim Brotherhood, has repeatedly said he would respect international treaties signed by Cairo, but the Brotherhood has also said there is room to revise the accords.
Last week, an adviser to Morsi called to urgently change the peace treaty with Israel.
The adviser, Mohammed Ismat Seif Al-Dawla, issued the call during a speech he delivered at a conference on “Camp David and its Impact on Egypt's National Security.” The presidential adviser said that in its current form, the historic treaty maintains the national security of the “Zionist enemy” more than it helps Egypt's national security.
Ties between the two countries have been strained over the issue of security in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, which has increasingly become a haven for terrorists who use the area as a launching ground for attacks against Israeli civilians living in the south of the country, and IDF soldiers.
Israel has urged Egypt to tackle the growing lawlessness in Sinai, and Cairo has responded by boosting its military presence in the area where the attack took place.
Cairo launched an unprecedented military operation in Sinai after terrorists killed 16 Egyptian soldiers in an attack on August 5. Israel has warned that it expects Cairo to withdraw the military reinforcements once the operation is over, in accordance with the peace treaty.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has dismissed any possibility of altering the treaty.
“There is not the slightest possibility that Israel will accept the modification of the peace treaty with Israel," he said last month. "We will not accept any modification of the Camp David Accords.”
Carter’s remarks on Egypt were made one day after he condemned Israel, saying the prospects for peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority are fading into a crisis.
Carter told a news conference in Jerusalem on Monday said the Israeli-PA peace process has reached a crisis point and that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's government was not interested in pursuing a two-state solution.
He claimed that continued construction in Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and areas of Jerusalem restored to the capital during the 1967 Six Day War is making the prospect of peace less and less likely.