As Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak fights a seemingly lost battle against protesters seeking his ouster, Israel has asked the global community to make it clear to any regime in the country that it must abide fully by the peace agreement with the Jewish state.
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has urged the international community to make it clear to any new Egyptian leadership that will emerge that it must meet a series of conditions in return for receiving legitimacy in the eyes of the West, similar to those posed to Hamas following the Islamist movement's victory in Palestinian elections, senior officials told daily Ha'aretz.
The Mideast Quartet of UN, US, EU and Russia, have demanded that Hamas relinquish terrorism, recognise Israel and accept as binding previous negotiated agreements between the Palestine Liberation Organisation and Israel if it wants international acceptance.
The Israeli premier is not drawing a comparison between the two situations but would like the international community to add this condition among others, including return to democracy and respect for human rights, the officials said.
"The matter was made clear to the Americans and many other countries," a senior official in Jerusalem told the daily adding, "We are not opposed to democracy in Egypt but it is important for us to preserve the peace agreement."
The prime minister's bureau issued a statement on Tuesday to clarify the Israeli position on the situation in Egypt.
"Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel's interest is to preserve the peace with Egypt...Israel believes that the international community must require any Egyptian government to preserve the peace agreement with Israel," is said.
The more than three-decade-long peace agreement between the two countries has ensured that Israel did not have to face any major war in the region.