Former Egyptian PM Says He'd Visit Israel

The former prime minister of Egypt under Hosni Mubarak stated that he would be ready to visit Israel if he were elected president. Ahmed Shafiq is running third behind Amr Moussa, who is garnering 41% of the vote, and Abdel Moneim Abul-Fotouh, former Muslim Brotherhood leader, who has 27.3%. Shafiq has 12% percent, saying, “I am ready to visit Israel, provided it gives something to show it has good intentions.”

Conversely, Moussa, who considers the Israel-Egypt peace treaty dead, said, “The Camp David accords were dead and buried long ago.”

Shafiq said that because Egypt has so many interests in the US, the first country he would visit would be the United States. Until last week, Shafiq could not be considered a contender at all. He was ineligible to run because the Islamist Parliamnet passed a law which barred any former senior officials in the Mubarak government from the government. But last week, Egypt's election commission reinstated Shafiq just one day after disqualifying him.

Shafiq had been appointed by Mubarak in January 2011 to be prime minister after the unrest in Egypt began. But in the beginning of March 2011, he stepped down at the behest of the military because the opposition made his resignation a key part of their withdrawal from violent protest. Bassem Kamel, a member of the coalition running the uprising, said at the time, “First, we ousted Mubarak. Secondly, we got rid of Shafiq. We have become again the owners of this country. We are still awaiting for the other demands to be met.”


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