Netanyahu welcomes Egyptian military''s stand on peace treaty

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Jerusalem, Feb 12 (PTI) Prime Minister BenjaminNetanyahu today welcomed an announcement by Egypt''s militaryrulers that they will continue support to the peace treatywith Israel, even after the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak.

Earlier, Egypt''s army reassured its internationalallies that there would be no break in its peace deal withIsrael following the ouster of Mubarak, with a spokesmansaying that the country Armed Forces Supreme Council was"commitment to all Egypt''s international treaties."

In a reaction to the statement by the Egyptianmilitary, Netanyahu stated that the "longstanding peace treatybetween Israel and Egypt has greatly contributed to bothcountries and is the cornerstone for peace and stability inthe entire Middle East."

In another reaction to Saturday''s statement, ForeignMinister Avigdor Lieberman said that Israel was not interested"in Egypt''s internal affairs."

The only thing Israel wanted was that "regionalstability be preserved and the peace treaty respected."

The FM''s comment came after earlier Saturday FinanceMinister Yuval Steinitz also voiced his support of theEgyptian statement, saying in an interview to Channel 2 thatit was "a good announcement."

"Peace is not only in the interest of Israel but alsoof Egypt. I am very happy with this announcement," Steinitzwas quoted as saying by Hareetz.

Defence Minister Barak conducted a phone conversationlater Saturday with the head of Egypt''s ruling militarycouncil, Defence Minister Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, accordingto local media reports.

Israel has been deeply concerned that Egypt''s turmoilcould threaten the 1979 peace accord signed between the twocountries.

The United States, Egypt''s top ally, is also eager toensure the accord remains in place. The military stronglysupports the accord, not in small part because it guaranteesUS aid for the armed forces, currently running at USD 1.3billion a year. PTI

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