Israel considered Mubarak a "treasure", says foreign minister

Ahram Online, Sunday 3 Apr 2011

The new Egyptian foreign minister discussed Israel, Iran and Egypt's role in the region on a talk show yesterday evening

Foreign minister
foreign minister, Nabil El-Araby

Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil El-Araby says that Israel considered former President Mubarak a “treasure”.

El-Araby, speaking on the Ten PM programme with host Mona El-Shazly, yesterday evening, said that during the Mubarak era Israel felt that it could do as it pleased. He pointed out that this is no longer the case.

El-Araby added that the peace treaty Egypt has signed with Israel does not stipulate that the Jewish state should be given special treatment. He added that the Camp David Accords do not say that Egypt is obliged to sell petrol or gas to Israel at below market prices, adding that those who said they do either misunderstood the conditions of the accords or chose to misunderstand them to serve their personal interests.

Regarding Sinai, El-Araby assured Egyptians that it is not a demilitarised zone and that Egypt has forces in various sectors of the peninsula and that the area adjacent to Israel is protected by police forces.

El-Araby insisted that Egypt remains an important player in the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. The foreign minister also said that Iran is an important nation in the Middle East and did not rule out renewing diplomatic ties with Tehran, adding that most countries in the world, with the exception of Israel and the US, have ambassadors in Tehran.

But to remove sensitivities between the two countries, El-Araby said that it is important to remove the name of Khaled El-Islamboly, the assassin of former President Anwar El-Sadat, from one of the major streets in Tehran, and also the removal of the former Shah of Iran’s name on his tombstone in Cairo.

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