Egypt explains Sinai position

2012-08-26 12:53
Egypt pyramid

Egypt pyramid

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Cairo - In the first direct contact with his Israeli counterpart since taking office, Egypt's new defence minister defended his country's increased military presence in the Sinai Peninsula, saying it is needed to fight terrorism and assuring him it is only temporary, Egyptian officials said on Saturday.

The officials - one from Egyptian intelligence and another from the military - said Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi called Ehud Barak on Thursday in their first conversation since el-Sissi became defence minister earlier this month. The phone call followed grumbling from Israeli officials about not being consulted before Egypt's leaders deployed tanks to the Sinai Peninsula, the strip of Egyptian land that borders Israel and the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli defence ministry refused comment. An Israeli defence official said no conversation took place between el-Sissi and Barak. The official spoke on condition of anonymity due to the extreme sensitivity of the mater.

Under the 1979 peace accord between the two countries, Egypt is allowed to have only lightly-armed policemen in the zone along the border with Israel. The treaty stipulates that significant military moves by Egypt must be coordinated with Israel.

Annoyed

Egypt used attack helicopters and armored personnel carriers in co-ordination with Israel to go after militants suspected of being behind the  killing of 16 Egyptian soldiers in Sinai on 5 August.

Later, however, Egypt deployed US-made M60 tanks to Sinai without consulting with Israel, which drew objections from the Israel despite the fact that it has long encouraged Cairo to crack down on militants in Sinai.

Israel does not view the Egyptian military buildup there as a strategic threat. The problem, Israeli officials said, is with Egypt setting a precedent by moving troops to Sinai without coordinating the move with Israel first.

Israeli officials stressed that significant military moves by Egypt must be run by Israel first, giving it a veto of sorts over Egyptian security strategy.

Israel has the most powerful military in the Middle East, and Egypt's new military deployment in Sinai is not viewed as a threat. In addition, the two nations have been at peace for decades and - despite some turbulence in their relations in the wake of Egypt's uprising last year - remain in close contact regarding security matters.

Israel has itself been a target of Islamic militants based in Sinai in recent months and wants to see Egypt's security forces reign in the lawlessness that has swept across the desert peninsula since longtime President Hosni Mubarak was toppled and his powerful police force disappeared from the streets.

In his phone call with Barak on Thursday, el-Sissi also assured the Israeli that Egypt respects the nations' peace treaty, the intelligence and military officials said on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of relations between Egypt and Israel at this time.

In Egypt, the president's spokesperson could not be immediately reached for comment.

Israel-Egypt relations have grown increasingly complicated since the June election of President Mohammed Morsi, an Islamist and member of the Muslim Brotherhood who is Egypt's first freely elected civilian leader.

- AP
Read more on:    egypt  |  north africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Music
Traffic & Train Alerts
Traffic
Cape Town 12:55 PM
Road name: Nelson Mandela Boulevard Inbound

FLOODING near the Strand Street exit - approach with caution

Goodwood 12:14 PM
Road name: N7 Vanguard Drive Southbound

SLOW TRAFFIC towards Voortrekker Road

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

PL/SQL Developer (+Delphi/C#)

Cape Town Northern Suburbs
Navy Blue Suits
R20 000 - R30 000 Per Month

Receptionist/Admin (Cape Town, Table View)

Cape Town
West Coast Personnel
R7 500 - R10 000 Per Month

Electrical Draughtsman

Cape Town Northern Suburbs
Communicate Cape Town Engineering
R140 000 - R180 000 Per Year

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to 30% off top fragrances

Get mind blowing savings on selected fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to 50% on Women’s month treats!

Celebrate the awesome women in your life with awesome treats like beauty products, fashion accessories, bestselling books, electronics and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Today you may want to bond with your children and need to connect to your imaginative and playful side. It may be that you are...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.