Egyptian Islamists: We will negotiate

The radical Salafi movement’s Al-Nour party, which placed second in the Egyptian parliamentary elections behind the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice party, has said it would be willing to negotiate with Israel under certain conditions.

Salafi movement leaders announced that they plan to respect all treaties Egypt has signed, including the peace treaty with Israel.

Al-Nour spokesman Yousri Hamad said there was nothing preventing the party from engaging in dialogue with Israel, but party leaders clarified that his comments do not reflect the movement’s position and that the matter is being examined.

Hamad said the Muslim Brotherhood’s refusal to negotiate with Israel is unrealistic. However, a member of the party’s supreme council said it has yet to reach a decision on whether to “engage in dialogue with Israeli diplomats.”

Al-Nour chairman Emad el Din Abdel Ghafour told Arab media outlets that he did not did not rule out the possibility of re-examining the peace agreement with Israel, but stressed that diplomatic relations with the Jewish state were based on the interests of Egypt and the Arab world in general.  — & jta