A leading Islamist candidate in Egypt’s presidential election has branded Israel a “racist state” and said a shared 1979 peace treaty was “a national security threat” that should be revised.
Abdel Moneim Abul Fotouh also denounced Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden’s assassination by US special forces as an act of “state terrorism,” in a late Saturday Egyptian television interview.
Abul Fotouh, a front runner in the May 23-24 election according to polls, had earlier described Israel as an “enemy” in a televised debate with his main contender, former foreign minister and Arab League chief Amr Mussa.
In Saturday’s interview with the private Egyptian CBC satellite station, he said he had opposed the treaty since its implementation. “I still view the peace treaty as a national security threat to Egypt, and it must be revised.”
“It is a treaty that forbids Egypt from exercising full sovereignty in the Sinai and allows Israelis to enter Sinai without visas, while they need visas for Cairo,” he said.
The treaty, in which Israel withdrew from the Sinai after capturing it in a 1967 war, does not allow Egypt a military presence in parts of the peninsula.
Abul Fotouh said Israel was “a racist state with 200 nuclear warheads” that continued to pose a threat to Egypt.
A moderate Islamist with support from both hardline fundamentalists and liberals, Abul Fotouh refused to describe Bin Laden as a terrorist, saying the term was used by the United States to “hit Muslim interests.”…
Abul Fotouh’s rival Amr Mussa has also argued for the revision of the treaty with Israel and described its policies towards Palestinians as an Egyptian “national security issue.”…