Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood reiterates refusal to engage Israel | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat – Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Mahmoud Ghazlan informed Asharq Al-Awsat that his group categorically rejects the principle of dialogue with Israel. He stressed that the Brotherhood’s position is clear and consistent on this matter, and is not open to discussion. Ghazlan made his comments after the Israeli Foreign Ministry stated that Tel Aviv would extend a helping hand to the new regime in Egypt. Relations between Cairo and Tel Aviv are governed by a peace treaty signed over three decades ago.

The Muslim Brotherhood Freedom and Justice Party recently won a majority in the Egyptian parliament, whilst the new Egyptian Speaker of Parliament, Saad al-Katatni, is also a member of this party. However the task of selecting the forthcoming government, according to the constitution currently in force in the country, is still in the hands of the Egyptian Supreme Council of the Armed Forces [SCAF].

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor told Israeli radio on Tuesday that “Israel has not closed the door to anyone”, adding that “we will be happy to engage in dialogue with anyone who is ready to negotiate with us”.

In response, Ghazlan informed Asharq al-Awsat that “the [Muslim Brotherhood] group does not have any willingness to engage in dialogue with Israel. This decision has been taken and our position is consistent and clear, and is not currently open to discussion”.

Ghazlan added “it does not make sense to launch a dialogue, any form of dialogue, in light of Israel’s current practices against the Arab people”.

Western officials met with a number of leaders from the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamic currents after their victory in the recent parliamentary elections in Egypt. Ghazlan denied that the Brotherhood has received any request from the Israeli Embassy in Cairo to meet with its leaders, but he stressed that “any request from the Israeli Embassy to meet with Brotherhood leaders will be rejected”.

Yigal Palmor stressed that the peace agreement signed between Israel and Egypt serves the interests of both sides, and it is likely that Egypt will continue to honor the agreement even though the two countries have differences in opinion.