Israeli Foreign Ministry denies opening dialogue with Egypt’s Islamists

The Israeli Foreign Ministry denied news that it has allowed its ambassador in Cairo, Yaakov Amitai, to enter into a dialogue with Islamists in Egypt, Israeli radio said Wednesday.

Israeli radio cited sources from the Israeli Foreign Ministry as saying that Israel does not interfere in what is going on in Egypt and is waiting to see how the new regime will turn out.

This response came after Israeli daily Maariv said Wednesday that the Israeli Foreign Ministry has given Amitai the freedom to contact members from the Muslim Brotherhood after they made considerable gains in the parliamentary elections.

Yousry Hammad, spokesperson for the Salafi-led Nour Party, said Israeli radio correspondent Jackie Khoji contacted him to ask about the party’s stance on the Camp David Accords.

“I told him the treaty is binding because Egypt has signed it,” Hammad said, explaining to him that the Egyptian people want to amend certain articles to enable Egypt to better control Sinai.

Hammad said Nour Party was not invited to open dialogue with Israel. “This must come through the Foreign Ministry in the form of an official invitation,” he said.

Rafi Barak, the director-general of the Israeli foreign ministry, had previously rejected a request by former Israeli Ambassador to Egypt Isaac Levanon to open a dialogue with the Muslim Brotherhood shortly after the breakout of the 25 January revolution and the ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak.

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