Differing views of presidential candidates on Camp David Accords, Israel
Both presidential candidates Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and Hamdeen Sabbahi - YOUM7(Archive)
By MUHAMMAD GHAMRAWY

CAIRO: The only two presidential candidates in the upcoming race, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and Hamdeen Sabbahi, differ in their views of how to deal with Israel if they were to become president.

The presidential candidate with a military background, Sisi, said in his interview with Reuters on Wednesday that relations between Egypt and Israel are “stable,” and ruled out the idea of amending the Camp David Accords with Israel.

The 59-year-old former army chief is widely expected to win the elections, which are slated to be held on May 26 and 27.

Asked in another interview with Sky News Arabia on May 12 if he would amend the peace treaty with Israel to tighten Egypt’s grip on the Sinai, which is currently witnessing attacks against the military and police, Sisi said, “We are doing what we want in Sinai now and our troops are there, I am talking seriously. If the situation in Sinai required amendment, I think Israel will not refuse.”

On the other hand, Nasserist candidate Sabbahi said he is not satisfied with the Camp David Accords, but added that in proposing any amendments to the treaty he would adhere to international law.

“I will correct the Camp David treaty in accordance to the rules and procedures of international law,” Sabbahi said in his interview with Sky News Arabia on Thursday, adding that if he was elected president he would put the treaty to a referendum.

The statements of the two candidates coincided with the arrival of Haim Koren, the new Israeli ambassador to Egypt, who arrived in Cairo Sunday, succeeding Yaakov Amitai, who ended his tour of duty few weeks ago.

Before arriving in Egypt, Koren served in South Sudan as the Israeli ambassador. The Arabic-speaking diplomat was named in October 2013 to be the next ambassador in Cairo, according to Israel National News, and served as a director of the ministry’s political division in Israel.

Koren was rejected by the Turkmenistan foreign ministry to be appointed as the new Israeli ambassador there in 2011, according to Haartez, over claims that he was “a Mossad spy.”

“We want you to send us an ambassador who will deal with bilateral relations, not a spy to collect intelligence on Iran,” a senior Turkmenistan official told Israeli officials, according to Haartez.

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