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Potential Egyptian president Moussa: Camp David accords ´dead and buried´ (HAŽARETZ NEWS) By Zvi Bar´el 05/01/12)Source: http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/potential-egyptian-president-moussa-camp-david-accords-dead-and-buried-1.427402 HA'ARETZ} NEWS SERVICE HA'ARETZ} NEWS SERVICE Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
The leading candidate in Egypt´s presidential race, Amr Moussa, said on Sunday that the Camp David agreement between his country and Israel is "dead and buried."

At a mass rally in southern Egypt, Moussa said: "The Camp David Accords is a historical document whose place is on the shelves of history, as its articles talk about the fact that the aim of the agreement is to establish an independent Palestinian state."

Moussa went on to say that there is "no such thing" as the Camp David agreement. "There is an agreement between Israel and Egypt that we will honor as long as Israel honors it," he said. "The Jewish document that defines relations between Israel and the Arabs is an Arab initiative from 2002 whose advancement should be bilateral: step for step, progress for progress."

Moussa, who served ten years as foreign minister under former president Hosni Mubarak, differentiates between the Camp David Accords - which include the Palestinian articles - and the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt. The Egyptian public does not necessarily make the same differentiation, however. For them, the Camp David Accords are seen as one whole, and all public discussion of them is seen as a test of the foreign policy that is expected of Egypt´s presidential candidates.

In a visit to the west of Egypt two weeks ago, Moussa described the agreement as "ink on paper whose period of authority is over," without differentiating between the articles that deal with the Palestinians, and those that deal with peace with Israel.

Although Moussa is leaning on the support of some of the secular parties and activist groups that were the backbone of the January 2011 revolution, it is actually Islamist leaders that are talking about their commitment to the Camp David Accords.

The head of the Salafi Al-Nour party, for example, said in December that his movement is not opposed to the Camp David Accords, and that it is ready to negotiate with Israel.

Moussa has taken a tough line on Israel for many years. He designed Egypt´s foreign policy regarding Israel´s nuclear capabilities - a policy that calls for nuclear disarmament in the region - and he is particularly proud of his part in placing the Palestinian problem on the international list of priorities during his time as foreign minister.

However, criticism for the 76-year-old Moussa has come from those who are meant to be his supporters. One member of the Al Wafd party, for example, said that Moussa is the number one choice of the U.S., and that "even Israel does not express its concern over his election. He announced his intention to stand for the Egyptian presidency from the house of the Saudi ambassador in Egypt, and no one knows his sources of funding."

Jalal Amin, professor of economics at the American University in Cairo and a prominent leftist thinker, said, "Moussa is a remnant of Mubarak´s regime ... How else can a man who served for ten years as foreign minister - a third of which was under Mubarak - be silent about what is happening in the country? What kind of person is this?"

It seems that in light of such criticism - and in an attempt to distance himself from the policies of the previous regime - Moussa is now embracing a critical stance toward the peace accords with Israel. (© Copyright 2012 Ha´aretz 05/01/12)

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