Egypt FM: Will not be pushed into war
By-Egypt News | 4 July 2010
Egypt's Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmed Abul Gheit said that Egypt would not give in to attempts to push it into a war to prove its regional weight
Abul Gheit said, in an interview with the Russia Today television news channel, that "Nothing happens in the Middle East without going through Cairo first, due to Egypt's historical status in the region"
He added that "No war would be waged between Israel on the one hand and Iran, Syria and Lebanon on the other--"as long as no side provokes the other"
On Egypt's relations with upstream Nile Basin countries in light of the recent Entebbe water-sharing agreement, the minister said that Egypt was not willing to engage in a war with any African state. "We will continue to work together on preserving our Nile water quota," he said.
Egypt's Foreign Minister said on proposed autonomy for southern Sudan "This was for the Sudanese people to decide" adding that "Egypt, however, supports Sudanese unity, and the south should remain within a sovereign Sudanese state in some way"
Abul Gheit describes the situation in Iraq as "extremely difficult," calling on Iraqi political leaders to reconcile with one another.
He said that "All means of exerting pressure on Israel's right-wing government should be employed, lest all Palestinian land be eventually lost to Israeli territorial expansion"
Abul Gheit added "The Israeli government must choose between peace or decades of conflict"
He said "An inter-Palestinian accord must also be reached soon so as not to extinguish hope for a Palestinian state," adding that "Hamas had approved an Egyptian reconciliation proposal but had subsequently reversed its position"