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Mursi announces Camp David revision plan – VOR

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Artyom Kobzev

Egypt’s President Elect Mohamed Mursi. Photo: AFP 

Egypt’s President Elect Mohamed Mursi has announced his plan to revise his country’s 1979 Camp David peace accords with Israel. Speaking in Cairo Monday in an interview with Iran’s Fars news agency, he described these accords as ‘unequal and unfair’ and indicated that they were signed under pressure from the United States at a time when Egypt badly needed American economic help.
Mr Mursi also assured his nation that he would make no decision concerning Camp David alone, without consultation with his Ministers.

For an assessment of Mr Mursi’s Camp David plans, The Voice of Russia turned to Israeli analyst Dr Alexander Eterman:

“War or a rejection of American aid is of course out of the question. What Mr Morsi has in mind is a revision of the colonial-style economic clauses of the accords. These clauses actually boil down to a bribe given to the Egyptian elite including the President in exchange for cut-price supplies of Egyptian natural gas to Israel. Egypt, meanwhile, needs its gas itself. Moreover, it cannot afford to sell its gas at a dumping price.”

Egyptian analyst Dr Mazen Abbas doubts whether Mr Mursi will be able to follow through on his Camp David revision plan:

“First, Mr Mursi has problems on his hands which are much more urgent than Camp David. Besides, in accordance with Egypt’s provisional constitution, he cannot take major policy steps without the approval of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. True, it would be good to have the Camp David accords revised. But before moving to rewrite them, we have to assess the consequences, including those for the Palestinians.”

Israel understands that tearing up the Camp David accords would cost Egypt billions of dollars in American aid. With Egypt’s tourism revenue plummeting, this would spell economic suicide. Accordingly, the Israelis largely discard the possibility of the Israeli-Egyptian peace deal unraveling. They appear to have been much more worried by Mr Mursi’s avowed plans to restore diplomatic ties with Iran and seek sovereignty for the Palestinians.

Dr Konstantin Truyevtsev is Associate Professor of the Moscow-based High School of Economics:

“Mursi’s plan to increase the significance of Iran in the Middle East equation signals a major shift in his country’s regional policy. It remains to be seen how quick this shift will be. One thing, however, is absolutely certain: the balance of power in the Middle East is in for change.”

On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reacted to the news that Mr Mursi had been elected President by saying that Israel respects the choice of the Egyptian people. President Shimon Peres offered congratulations to Mr Mursi and said that Israel stays committed to peace with Egypt.

 Jun 26, 2012

VOR.