Egypt Islamists to honour peace deal with Israel: Carter

AFP , Friday 13 Jan 2012

Former US president Jimmy Carter assures all Islamists in Egypt expressed "eagerness" to uphold Camp David peace deal between Egypt and Israel

Former US president Jimmy Carter said on Friday that Islamist parties, who have taken political centre stage in Egypt's first post-revolution legislative polls, have vowed to honour the peace treaty with Israel.

"All of the parties involved (in the election) have expressed eagerness to continue with the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt," Carter told reporters in Cairo.

The former president was presenting the Carter Centre's findings in the first elections since a popular uprising ousted president Hosni Mubarak in February.

Carter, who was directly involved in the 1978 and 1979 Camp David Accords that led to Egypt's peace treaty with Israel, said the agreements had two parts: peace with Israel and the guarantee of Palestinian rights.

Regarding peace with Israel, "that part of the accords has been basically approved and honoured," Carter said.

But "the rights of Palestinians have been violated with sometimes tacit approval from Washington and also from Cairo," Carter said.

"All of the political parties and presidential candidates with whom I have met assured me that both aspects of the Camp David accords will be honoured in the future," he said.

The Muslim Brotherhood's political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, has publicly pledged its commitment to the deal.

"When I questioned the Salafists about this, they assured me they had no intention of rejecting the peace agreement," Carter said. He was referring to Al-Nur, the party representing an ultra-conservative brand of Islam that has claimed second place in the landmark polls after the FJP.

In 1979, Egypt became the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel.

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