Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry on Monday promised that his country would adhere to the 1979 peace treaty with Israel as long it remains reciprocal, Al Ahram reported. The FM dismissed reports that his government was considering suspending the peace agreement over developments in Gaza.
On Sunday, according to an AP report, two Egyptian officials and a Western diplomat revealed that Egypt had warned of potential suspension of the peace treaty should Israel extend its military operations into the densely populated city of Rafah, situated on the border with Egypt.
The AP report cited warnings of serious repercussions should Israel go into Rafah from several other countries and international parties – including the US, the EU, the UN, the UK, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and other global aid groups – following PM Netanyahu’s remarks about his intentions.
Shoukry delivered his statements at a press conference alongside Tanja Fajon, Slovenia’s Minister of Foreign and European Affairs. Emphasizing Egypt’s commitment, he highlighted the 40-year-long maintenance of the peace treaty with Israel, which has formed the bedrock of diplomatic ties between the two countries. Shoukry also underscored Egypt’s ongoing efforts to reach an agreement between Israel and Hamas exchanging hostages for imprisoned Arab terrorists and facilitating the entry of humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip.
FM Shoukry, 72, has served as Egypt’s foreign minister since 2014.
Al Ahram, which is a semi-official news outlet, had this to say about the peace treaty:
The Egypt–Israel peace treaty was signed by late Egyptian President Anwar El-Sadat and then-Prime Minister of Israel Menachem Begin in 1979 in Washington, following the 1978 Camp David Accords.
The agreement, signed in the wake of the Egyptian victory in the 1973 War against Israel, ended the Israeli occupation of the Sinai Peninsula since the 1967 War. As per the treaty, Egypt became the first Arab country to officially recognize Israel.
EGYPT VS. SMOTRICH
Meanwhile, the Saudi Asharq Al Awsat reported that Egypt’s foreign ministry on Monday condemned as “unacceptable” and “provocative” comments by Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich who said Cairo has “considerable responsibility” for Hamas’s October 7 attack.
Smotrich said that “the Egyptians bear considerable responsibility for October 7,” because “much of Hamas’s armaments pass through Egypt,” which shares a border with Gaza.
Egyptian foreign ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said it was “unfortunate and disgraceful” for the Israeli minister to “continue releasing irresponsible and inflammatory statements,” adding, “Egypt fully controls its territory, and does not allow any party to involve Egypt’s name in failed attempts to justify its own shortcomings.”
Abu Zeid did not attempt to explain how an enormous arsenal of rockets, RPGs, and ammunition, enough to keep a sizeable army fighting for many months, had been smuggled into Gaza, care of the Iranian government.
With that, this Egyptian official confirmed what most Israelis have had to say about the peace treaty with Egypt: it’s better than not having a peace treaty with Egypt.
But not by much.