To those who worry about the potential radicalization of Egypt as a result of Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsy winning of the first round of the 2012 Egyptian elections, former U.S. president Jimmy Carter has some words of comfort.
The Muslim Brotherhood “may seek to modify but will not destroy” Egypt’s 33-year-old peace treaty with Israel, said Carter (87) who helped broker the 1979 Israel-Egypt agreement.
Carter, who brought together then Israeli leader Menachem Begin and Egypt’s Anwar Sadat in the 1978 peace talks, said he’s held “long discussions” with senior leaders of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood as he visits the country to act as an international observer of the presidential election.
“My opinion is that the treaty will not be modified in any unilateral way,” said the former U.S. president of the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty which has become a point of contention as opponents of the Muslim Brotherhood fear that, once in power, the Islamic group could engage in anti-Israel rhetoric.
The Brotherhood was suppressed under the Mubarak regime in part because of its staunch anti-Israel views and ties to the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas. However, Mohamed Morsy, the frontrunner of the Brotherhood and winner of the first round of the presidential election, said that though he criticizes Israel, and would not meet with Israeli officials as president, he's willing to respect the treaty.
Official results in Egypt's first free election ever are due on Tuesday, but informal tallies put the Brotherhood's Mohamed Mursi and Mubarak's last Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq in the lead. If confirmed this Tuesday, they would fight a run-off in June.