Morsi tells Israel he wants to work for Middle East peace

Wed, Aug 1, 2012, 01:00

Egypt’s president Mohamed Morsi has told Israel he wants to work for peace in the Middle East, in the first official message sent by the Arab state’s new Islamist leadership to the Jewish state.

Politicians in Israel had expressed alarm in private over the election of the Muslim Brotherhood president in June’s presidential vote, and feared that over time their country’s peace treaty with Egypt could be eroded.

“I am looking forward to exerting our best efforts to get the Middle East peace process back to its right track in order to achieve security and stability for all peoples of the region, including [the] Israeli people,” Mr Morsi said in the letter to Israeli president Shimon Peres.

An Israeli official who spoke on condition of anonymity said Mr Morsi’s letter was “a general message with a positive spirit, but did not indicate any new direction” in bilateral relations.

Egypt’s ousted president Hosni Mubarak had guaranteed the 1979 peace treaty with Israel for decades. The Muslim Brotherhood is ideologically hostile to the Jewish state and is linked to Hamas Islamists who run the Gaza Strip.