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Sun Jul 1, 2012 7:50AM
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has asked the new Egyptian government to maintain the peace treaty between Tel Aviv and Cairo amid Israel’s fear over changes in Egypt. In a letter to Egypt’s newly-elected President Mohamed Morsi a few days ago, Netanyahu stressed his desire to continue cooperation with Egypt, an unnamed source told AFP on Sunday. Israeli media have warned of troubles in relations with Egypt following the victory of the Muslim Brotherhood candidate in Egypt's first free elections. Officials in Tel Aviv fear that Morsi could bring an end to Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel. Former Israeli Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said this week Egypt would now be led "by a man who has never hidden his hostility towards Israel." Morsi was sworn in as Egypt’s president on Saturday after he defeated former Premier Ahmed Shafiq during the country’s run-off presidential election. In his first presidential address on Saturday, Morsi reiterated that his country “will stand with Palestinian people until they get their rights.” In 1979, Egypt became the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel and was also compelled to agree to supply gas to Israel as one of the main economic conditions of the US-sponsored accord. Supplying gas to Israel has always been a controversial issue for Egyptians, who view Israel as an enemy and oppose engaging in any form of business with Tel Aviv. AGB/MA
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