The United States has urged Mohamed Morsi, the newly-elected Egyptian president, to continue the former regime's pro-US-Israel policy in the region.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney congratulated Morsi on his victory on Sunday, and called on him to maintain Egypt’s long-standing role as a peaceful, regional powerbroker, AFP reported.
"We believe it is essential for the Egyptian government to continue to fulfill Egypt’s role as a pillar of regional peace, security, and stability," Carney said in a reference to hopes for continued cooperation with Israel.
Egypt has a peace accord with Israel. Washington has been paying Cairo over a USD billion annually to keep the deal in place. Ousted Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak went a step further in cooperating with Israel by helping Tel Aviv impose its siege on the Gaza Strip in 2007.
Morsi, the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s presidential candidate, won the presidency by beating Mubarak’s last premier Ahmed Shafiq during the country’s run-off presidential election over June 16 and 17. He garnered nearly 52 percent of the vote.
In 1979, Egypt became the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel, but was compelled to agree to supply gas to Israel as one of the main economic conditions of the US-sponsored accord.
According to the results of an opinion poll conducted by the Synovate market research group for Press TV and published in October 2011, an overwhelming majority of Egyptians oppose the terms of the country's gas deal with Israel.
In the poll, 73 percent of the respondents said they were opposed to gas exports to Israel. Only nine percent said they approved of Egypt supplying gas to Israel, and 12 percent had no opinion.
The issue of supplying gas to Israel has always been a contentious topic for Egyptians, who view Israel as an enemy and oppose engaging in any form of business with it.