Israel Congratulates Egypt On New Parliament


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel congratulated Egypt on the inauguration of its new parliament, the first in the post-Mubarak era.

"On the occasion of the opening session of the Egyptian parliament, on Jan. 23, Israel extends its congratulations to the people of Egypt for its efforts to achieve freedom, democracy and economic development," Israel's Foreign Affairs Ministry said in a statement issued Wednesday.

"We send the new parliament our wishes of constructive and fruitful work for the well-being of the Egyptian public," read the statement. "We trust Egypt will continue to uphold the importance of peace and stability in our region."

A spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood, which garnered nearly half the seats in the newly elected parliament, said Wednesday that the government would not hold any kind of dialogue with Israel.

“The [Muslim Brotherhood] group does not have any willingness to engage in dialogue with Israel," Mahmoud Ghazlan told the London-based Arabic Asharq Alawsat newspaper in an interview. "This decision has been taken and our position is consistent and clear, and is not currently open to discussion.

“It does not make sense to launch a dialogue, any form of dialogue, in light of Israel’s current practices against the Arab people,” he added.

Israel and Egypt signed a peace treaty in 1979, making Egypt the first Arab state to recognize Israel.