Carter: Arab Spring no threat to Israel

Nov. 1, 2012 at 2:37 PM

CAIRO, Nov. 1 (UPI) -- Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter said from Egypt there's not much of a threat to Israel because of the sweeping political upheavals in the Middle East.

Islamic parties rose to dominance in the so-called Arab Spring that swept through much of the Middle East last year. The revolution in Tunisia ended the 24-year rule of former President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali and ushered Islamic party Ennahda to power.

In Egypt, the end of Hosni Mubarak's 30-year leadership spawned a government led by the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamic group banned under the former president.

Carter, who helped broker a peace deal between Egypt and Israel during his presidency in 1979, told Egyptian news service al-Ahram the security situation hasn't changed with new political developments.

"I don't see any military threat to Israel or Egypt now," he was quoted as saying. "That threat is gone."

A security vacuum has existed in the Sinai Peninsula, near Israel's border, since the Egyptian revolution. During the summer, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi ordered troops to the region after 16 soldiers were killed in a militant attack there.

"Israel can't police Sinai," Carter said. "But it does want to see Egypt more able to maintain order in Sinai."

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