A political leader of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood Thursday called on any government that replaces Hosni Mubarak’s regime to withdraw from the 32-year-old peace treaty with Israel.
“After President Mubarak steps down and a provisional government is formed, there is a need to dissolve the peace treaty with Israel,” Rashad al-Bayoumi, a deputy leader of the outlawed movement, said on Japan’s NHTV.
The interview contrasted with earlier signals from the group. On Feb. 1, Mahmoud Ezzat, a spokesman for the brothers, told CBS News that his organization “will respect the peace treaty with Israel as long as Israel shows real progress on improving the lot of the Palestinians.”
In the past, Muslim Brotherhood leaders have supported the Palestinian branch of the brotherhood, Hamas, that rejects any negotiations with Israel and pledges to destroy the Jewish state.
This week, senior Obama administration officials urged Mr. Mubarak to step down from power. On a conference call this week between National Security Council staff and leaders of the U.S. Jewish community, the White House said there has been no change to the U.S. policy of not talking officially to the Muslim Brotherhood. Since the Clinton administration, however, there have been informal contacts with political leaders affiliated with the group, said former senior Democratic and Republican national security officials.