Avigdor Lieberman Rejects Changes to Egypt Treatyby Erin 24/09/2012 10:35:00 0 comments 1124 Views
Avigdor Lieberman, Israel's foreign minister, said Sunday that the country will not agree to change its historic 1979 peace treaty with Egypt.
Recent escalations of violence in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, with which Israel shares a border, have strained the ties between the two countries.
Militants have been using the land as a base to attack Israel, and Israel had temporarily lifted caps on the numbers of troops allowed in the region so that stability could be restored, Agence France Presse reported.
The most recent incident in the Sinai, on September 21, left three gunmen and an Israeli solider dead. Ansar Bayt al-Maqdes, a militant Islamist group, claimed responsibility for the attack, according to the Associated Press. The attackers were reportedly Egyptians launching a "disciplinary attack against those who insulted the beloved Prophet," the AP reported.
Tensions between long-time allies Egypt and Israel have also strained as Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood movement have called for more permanent changes to the limits on Egyptian troops imposed by the 1979 treaty, Radio Free Europe reported.
"There is not the slightest possibility that Israel will accept the modification of the peace treaty with Egypt," Lieberman told Israeli public radio. "We will not accept any modification of the Camp David accords."
Egyptians "shouldn't try to delude themselves or delude others," Lieberman added.
Morsi, who is making his first trip to the United States to attend the UN's General Assembly this weekend, countered that the agreement—considered a cornerstone to maintaining peace in the region—had yet to be fulfilled by Israel.
"As long as peace and justice are not fulfilled for the Palestinians, then the treaty remains unfulfilled," Morsi, referring to the US-brokered peace treaty, BBC News reported.