Most Egyptians would keep peace with Israel: poll

CAIRO Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:12pm EDT

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CAIRO (Reuters) - Two-thirds of Egyptians think their country should keep a peace treaty with its neighbor Israel, a government poll indicated on Tuesday.

The study, conducted by the cabinet's Information and Decision Support Center (IDSC), showed 67 percent of respondents believed it was important to uphold the 1979 Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty, state news agency MENA said.

Israel's government has been closely watching developments in Egypt after a popular uprising toppled President Hosni Mubarak and the army-backed interim government sought to adjust foreign policy in line with public opinion.

Egypt has maintained chilly diplomatic and economic ties with Israel since they signed the peace accord, which gives Israel stability on its southwest border.

Resentment lingers among many Egyptians over Israel's conflict with the Palestinians.

While no future Egyptian government is expected to reverse the Camp David treaty, most analysts foresee more challenging ties in the years ahead.

Egypt has moved to renegotiate a contentious gas export deal with Israel and signaled it is ready to improve strained ties with Iran, which is hostile to the Jewish state.

In the survey conducted on a sample of 1,062 respondents, 11 percent want the peace deal scrapped, 2 percent want some clauses revised and 20 percent declined to respond, MENA said.

It did not say which clauses the respondents want to remove.

The poll also showed 56 percent were satisfied with the situation in the country, while 87 percent were planning on voting in upcoming presidential elections, compared to only 18 percent in the last election in 2005.

(Reporting by Dina Zayed; Editing by Peter Graff)

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