Egypt's PM Hopes Peace Talks Will Resume

Egyptian PM Qandil: Cairo is hoping that the results of the Israeli elections will bring a change in the peace process with the PA.

Elad Benari,

Egypt's Prime Minister Hisham Qandil in Davos
Egypt's Prime Minister Hisham Qandil in Davos

Cairo is hoping that the results of the Israeli elections will bring about a change in the peace process with the Palestinian Authority, Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Qandil said on Thursday.

Qandil told a Kol Yisrael radio reporter at the World Economic Forum in Davos that such a change will be good for Israel's relations with countries in the region, including Egypt.

He said that the peace process is very important, not only for Israel and the PA, but also for the entire region and the world. Qandil added that Egypt is willing to join forces to bring peace to the region.

Qandil was appointed as Prime Minister by Egypt’s Islamist president, Mohammed Morsi, in July. Morsi, a member of Hamas’s parent movement, the Muslim Brotherhood, was elected into power after an Arab Spring revolution toppled former President Hosni Mubarak.

Egypt and Israel signed a peace treaty in 1979, but since being elected Morsi has been getting closer to Gaza’s Hamas terrorist rulers, and officials in his movement have called to amend the peace treaty with Israel.

An official with the Muslim Brotherhood even said that the peace accord between Israel and Egypt has caused Egyptians to suffer from “endemic diseases”.

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.

At the same time Morsi helped broker a ceasefire that ended Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza last November.

Meanwhile on Thursday, PA leaders said they hoped that the rise to power of Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party would lead to the resumption of peace talks.

“The Palestinian leadership watches the results of the Israeli elections with great interest, and we think that these elections constitute a new chance for the Israelis to express themselves," Yasser Abed Rabbo, an official with the Palestine Liberation Organization, told reporters.

"We are willing to open a dialogue with those Israeli parties who are ready," he added.

For the past four years, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has refused to come to the negotiating table with Israel and has continuously tried to impose preconditions on talks.