Egypt's Brotherhood would keep Israel treaty: Carter

CAIRO Sat May 26, 2012 1:44pm EDT

Related Topics

CAIRO (Reuters) - The Muslim Brotherhood may seek to modify, but will not destroy, Egypt's 33-year-old peace treaty with Israel, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter said on Saturday.

Carter, 87, was speaking after initial vote tallies put the Brotherhood's candidate ahead in the first round of Egypt's presidential election, which his Carter Center helped monitor.

The U.S. statesman, who brought together Israeli leader Menachem Begin and Egypt's Anwar Sadat in 1978 to agree the Camp David accords which led to a 1979 treaty, said he had held long discussions with senior Brotherhood figures in Egypt this week.

"My opinion is that the treaty will not be modified in any unilateral way," Carter said at a news conference in Cairo to present the preliminary findings of his election monitors.

Official results in Egypt's first free leadership election are due on Tuesday, but informal tallies put the Brotherhood's Mohamed Mursi and Mubarak's last Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq in the lead. If confirmed, they would fight a run-off in June.

Hamdeen Sabahy, a leftist who has championed Palestinian resistance against Israel, was running a close third.

The peace treaty remains a lynchpin of U.S./Middle East policy and, despite its unpopularity with many Egyptians, was staunchly upheld by President Hosni Mubarak until his overthrow last year in a popular uprising.

The Brotherhood, long suppressed under Mubarak, is vehemently critical of Israel, and its Palestinian offshoot Hamas rules the Gaza Strip. Israeli officials have watched political turmoil since Mubarak's overthrow with growing wariness.


Mubarak's fall opened up a freer form of Egyptian politics in which the popular mood looms far larger.

Mursi criticizes Israel but says he would respect the treaty. One of his aides said Mursi would not meet Israeli officials as president, though he might delegate that task.

Cairo needs good ties with Israel's closest ally the United States, which provides billions of dollars in military and civilian aid and is pressing other major foreign donors to support Egypt's struggling economy.

But some of the election contenders said the peace treaty should be reviewed, partly because of perceptions the deal Carter brokered was biased in Israel's favor.

Carter said the treaty had not been violated by either side since its inception and that any problems had been resolved peacefully, including a flare-up of tension last year over the killing of some Egyptian border guards.

"The Israelis apologized for that. They see great value in preserving the treaty," said Carter.

The Camp David accords were also supposed to guarantee the rights of the Palestinians, at Sadat's insistence, but that aspect had not been honored, Carter said.

(Editing by Alistair Lyon and Sophie Hares)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see
Comments (2)
JGrosman wrote:
Carter always had a screw loose but now all the marbles are gone. Egypt already cut off the gas. Egypt does not even care if they also cut off Jordan. Egypt is killing the last of the Christians that live in Egypt. Egypt will rule by the sword and send the country back to the 4th century.

May 26, 2012 4:25pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Yologamble wrote:
Brutal reporting. Who ever wrote this article should be fired because they are either: lazy, or terribly biased. Either way, the uninformed reader of this article is at best getting a false conception of the reality of the ‘facts’ this article is seeking to portray. This violates everything Reuters claims to stand up for.
Lets look at the facts.
What really bothers me is that the ‘journalist’ who wrote this has such little integrity that he did not do any research himself; rather, he relied strictly on hear-say. If that wasn’t bad enough, the hear-say is coming from a notoriously pro Hamas — anti Israel–advocate.
The ‘journalist’ takes Carter’s word that any tension between the two countries is because of Israel (this article makes it seem like arbitrarily) killed 5 Egyptian border guards. I will provide the ‘journalist’ with the benefit of the doubt that he didn’t try to put spin on this article. I have faith that Reuters wouldn’t hire somebody who is this untalented (if this is his attempt); I will rather conclude that he was lazy.
Since the ‘journalist’ neglected to, lets look at the FACTS.
The 5 Egyptian boarder guards were killed in the crossfire during a day in which terrorist infiltrated the Sinai into Israel (a boarder which Egypt is obligated to guard according to Mr Carter’s treaty) and murdered 9 Israeli civilians. Israel sought to prevent further attacks by securing its southern border and help the obviously incompetent Egyptians prevent more terrorists from entering. (These facts are according to both Israeli and Egyptian probes)
This article also (in)conveniently fails to mention 2011 attack on the Israeli Embassy in Egypt. According to international law, countries are unequivocally responsible for protecting diplomatic property.
Yet, despite these two wide known and easily accessible events, if one were to read this article to gain insight on the situation in the region, it is clear that what they would take away from this article would be a misguided, perverted and ultimately fallacious understanding of the very situation that this article seeks to explain.
It is for this reason, that I can no longer trust Reuters as a legitimate news site. There are obviously problems not only with the ‘journalists’ but also with the bureaucrats who are supposed to filter these things out. Shame.

May 27, 2012 1:47pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.