Egypt presidential hopefuls seek end to peace deal with Israel

An Egyptian presidential candidate says he wants to scrap the late 1970s Camp David Peace Treaty with Israel.

The secretary general of the Arab League, Amr Moussa, said the Camp David peace agreement with Israel, signed in 1979 by then president Anwar Sadat and the Israeli prime minister, Menachem Begin, was a “failure.”

“It should be scrapped,” Moussa said during an election campaign rally in southern Egypt. He called for Israel to halt construction in the West Bank and recognize a Palestinian state on all of the territory Israel occupied in 1967, including the Gaza Strip.

A presidential election may take place as early as October, after 77 percent of voters in last month’s referendum backed constitutional changes that would allow the country to move on to elections. The referendum followed the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak by a popular uprising in February.

Judge Hesham Bastawisi, another contender, demanded that the Camp David Treaty be reconsidered.

Under the deal, Israel withdrew from the Sinai Peninsula which it had occupied since 1967. In return, Egypt agreed to demilitarize the area. The deal was the first recognition of Israel’s independence by a major Arab country.

Recent polls have suggested that more than half of Egyptians want the deal to be scrapped.

MOSCOW, April 27 (RIA Novosti)

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