Egypt Islamists cause for concern: Israeli official

AFP, Friday 2 Nov 2012

Top aide of Israeli Defence Minister sees that the Islamist rule of Egypt does not bode well for Egyptian-Israeli relations

A top aide to Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak said on Friday he is apprehensive about the Islamic movement that brought Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi to power and sees no dialogue forthcoming between Morsi and Israeli leaders.

"If I am apprehensive about anything, it's the Muslim Brotherhood because the Muslim Brotherhood is an ideological movement and they are undergoing a revival," Amos Gilad, the head of the defence ministry policy department said in remarks broadcast by Israeli public radio.

"What hasn't changed? The ideology: Israel has no right to exist and (the Brotherhood) wants to set up an Islamic caliphate," he said.

"There is no dialogue between our top political echelon and this president and in my opinion there's not going to be," he added.

Israel has watched warily as the influential Brotherhood, in which Morsi has his roots, has gained increasing power in post-uprising Egypt, fearing for the future of the crucial, if cold, peace treaty between the two states.

Morsi, the country's first Islamist president, has kept Israel at arm's length since he took office on June 30. Egypt, Israel's giant neighbour, was the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel, in 1979.

But presenting his credentials to Israeli President Shimon Peres last month, new Egyptian Ambassador Atef Salem brought a measure of reassurance.

"I came with a message of peace and I came to confirm that we are really working for mutual trust and transparency and we are committed to all the agreements we signed with Israel," he said.

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