Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Egyptian officials seek to assure Israel

From Israel HaYom:
Against the backdrop of a mass civilian uprising in Egypt, senior Egyptian diplomats have relayed a calming message to Israel declaring their commitment to preserving peace between the two countries, Army Radio reported Tuesday. The diplomats said the peace agreement with Israel was of strategic importance to Egypt.

Yitzhak Levanon, Israel's outgoing ambassador to Egypt, who recently returned to Egypt after being recalled in September when the Israeli Embassy was attacked by an angry mob, met with two senior Egyptian ministers who assured him that strategic ties with Israel would hold steady. Levanon was set to return to Israel on Tuesday.

Israeli officials had earlier expressed concern over the growing turmoil, telling Israel Hayom that "relations between our countries have actually improved recently, as evidenced by the Shalit deal, the release of Ilan Grapel, management of the gas pipeline issue, and ongoing cooperation in Sinai. We hope our cooperation will continue."

Egypt's calming message comes on the heels of the resignation of Egypt's government Monday, resulting from the rising civilian death toll and ever-growing rage from protesters who have streamed into Tahrir Square demanding an immediate end to military rule and the establishment of a civilian government.

Meanwhile, Iran is trying to convey the exact opposite message. From FARS:
Secretary-General of the Egyptian Amal Party Majdi Hussein condemned the Zionist regime for its hostile efforts to thwart the Egyptian people's uprising and revolution, and stressed once parliamentary elections are held in the country, Cairo will cut its ties with Israel.

"Although the relations between Egypt and Israel have been undermined after the collapse of Mubarak's regime, we are still unsatisfied with these conditions and serious efforts will be made after the elections to cut relations with the Zionist enemy completely," Hussein told FNA on Monday.

He said as it was shown in the Egyptian youths' raid on the Israeli embassy in September, which forced the Israeli ambassador to flee Cairo, the relations between Egypt and Israel are declining.
Everything is going to depend on the elections, assuming Egypt is still having them.

But no matter who ends up winning, we can expect massive anti-government rallies in Tahrir Square will become regular occurrences. Having toppled two governments with rallies, Egyptians might think that a few thousand loud people are a substitute for real democracy.