Egyptian Official Describes His Country’s Peace Treaty with Israel As ‘frozen’

Concern mounted in official circles here today over an Egyptian minister’s description of his country’s peace treaty with Israel as “frozen.”

Boutros Ghali, Minister of State for Foriegn Affairs, used that term in an interview published this morning in the semi-official Cairo daily Al Ahram in which he accused Israel of reneging on its commitments to the Camp David accords.

“The Israeli government has reneged on its commitments to the Camp David accords by denying the Palestinians their right to self-determination, annexing the Golan Heights and invading Lebanon,” Ghali said. “Peace with Israel is frozen … Israel’s responsibility for this is clear,” Ghali said according to Al Ahram.

DETERIORATION IN ISRAELI-EGYPTIAN RELATIONS

Israel and Egypt have been in a state of “cold peace” ever since Cairo recalled its Ambassador from Israel in protest against the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982. The normalization process between the two countries has been virtually suspended as have been bilateral negotiations on the Taba border dispute and other issues. The autonomy talks in which Israel, Egypt and the U.S. were engaged have been moribund for nearly two years.

Ghali was quoted as saying that Egypt would not return its Ambassador to Tel Aviv until Israel withdrew completely from Lebanon, ended its settlement-building activities in the occupied territories and acted in a positive manner to advance the peace process.

Israeli-Egyptian relations deteriorated further after Cairo’s announcement last week that it would sever diplomatic ties with Costa Rica and El Salvador because those Central American countries moved their embassies from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Israel lodged a strong protest with Egypt against its decision.

Meanwhile, the visit to Cairo last week by the former Soviet Ambassador to Egypt, Vladimir Polyakov, raised speculation that Egypt is considering the resumption of diplomatic relations with the USSR which were severed by the late President Anwar Sadat.

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