(AFP) – A leading Islamist candidate in Egypt’s presidential election has branded Israel a “racist state” and said a shared 1979 peace treaty was “a national security threat” that should be revised.
Abdel Moneim Abouel Fotouh also denounced Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden’s assassination by US special forces as an act of “state terrorism,” in a late Saturday Egyptian television interview.
Abouel Fotouh, a front runner in the 23-24 May election according to polls, had earlier described Israel as an “enemy” in a televised debate with his main contender, former Foreign Minister and Arab League chief Amr Moussa.
In Saturday’s interview with the private Egyptian CBC satellite station, he said he had opposed the treaty since its implementation.
“I still view the peace treaty as a national security threat to Egypt, and it must be revised,” Abouel Fotouh said.
“It is a treaty that forbids Egypt from exercising full sovereignty in the Sinai and allows Israelis to enter Sinai without visas, while they need visas for Cairo,” he said.
The treaty, in which Israel withdrew from the Sinai after capturing it in a 1967 war, does not allow Egypt a military presence in parts of the peninsula.