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Friday, June 30, 2006

Egypt warns Israel not to take peace treaty for granted

Egypt is the third largest recipient of US foreign aid, which aid it receives as a direct result of its having signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1979. Under that treaty, Israel gave Egypt every last grain of sand in the Sinai which Israel had captured from the Egyptians twice, once in 1956 and once again in 1967.

Today, the head of the Egyptian Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee Mustafa al-Fekki, a senior member of President Hosni Mubarak's ruling party, said Israel should not think the "peace reached with an Arab country can be guaranteed while it continues to perpetrate its 'crimes and aggressions'."

Fekki also voiced fears the violence could spill over into Egypt and threaten the country's security.

"The Egyptian Parliament has expressed its concern for Egypt's borders and its peace deal. We respect it but the threats are coming from Israel," said Fekki.

Mufid Shehab, secretary of state for parliamentary affairs, openly accused Israel on Wednesday of threatening Egypt's stability.

According to the Beirut Daily Star, following an emergency meeting, Arab League ambassadors roundly condemned the Israeli military offensive in the Gaza Strip as "state terrorism," but failed to come up with an immediate diplomatic solution for the conflict.

Hoping to prevent the crisis from spinning out of control, Egyptian officials have been talking directly with Hamas' political leader, Khaled Meshaal, who is based in Damascus, to push him to facilitate the soldier's release.

An aide to 'moderate Palestinian President' Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen said both Abbas and Egyptian officials called Assad to ask him to persuade Meshaal to release the soldier, with no results so far. Mubarak also spoke with Abu Mazen and Assad on Thursday, the Egyptian state news agency said.

Just think how much more strongly they would react if we had actually killed someone in Gaza. /sarcasm.

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