Israel says so far, so good with new Egyptian government

July 14, 2013 at 3:00 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, July 14 (UPI) -- Israel has stressed to restive Egypt that preserving peace and security along their border is a top priority, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday.

Appearing on CBS' "Face the Nation," Netanyahu said Israel still maintained communications with Cairo and has made clear that maintaining the peace treaty to the two nations was Israel's primary goal.

"Our main concern in our contacts with the Egyptian government is to make sure that the peace is preserved and that terror is prevented. And this remains uppermost in my mind," said Netanyahu.

Netanyahu said the treaty was a cornerstone to stability in the entire Middle East. But Israel, he said, is also increasingly concerned about the situation in the Sinai.

The strategic Sinai region has become increasingly unstable recently, and Israel is concerned that al-Qaida or other anti-Israeli militants could establish a foothold in the area and use it as a base for cross-border attacks on the Jewish state.

"The important thing from our point of view is not merely to maintain the peace but also stabilize the Sinai peninsula, which is Egyptian territory that is adjacent to our southern border," said Netanyahu. "It has been fraying there. There are a lot of terrorists there. There are jihadists. There's al-Qaida, Hamas, you name it. They're all over the place."

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