With President Bush in Israel to celebrate the Jewish state’s 60th anniversary, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit has said in published remarks that this is not the year for a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians.
Egyptians welcomed their Foreign Minister’s comments, gathering in central Cairo to commemorate the anniversary of the “nakba” or catastrophe, as the birth of Israel is called.
Many of the demonstrators flew Palestinian flags in a sign of support. Egypt and Israel signed a peace treaty in 1979 under the auspices of then American President Jimmy Carter at Camp David.
“The Palestinian scenario is becoming more complicated every day despite seven months since the Annapolis conference,” Abul Gheit was quoted as saying in the state-owned Al Ahram daily newspaper.
The minister was referring to an attempt by President George W. Bush to jump start Israeli-Palestinian peace talks that had taken a seven-month hiatus.
“There are no real signs of any breakthrough that would allow reaching a final peace deal before the end of the year,” Abul Gheit said.
The Egyptian demonstrators carried banners that read “The liberation of Palestine is a sacred duty” and “60 years of resistance (against the Jewish state).