The session held by the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs (ECFA), on Monday, March 25th, 2019, on occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty, was multidimensional in terms of participation of a number of members in discussing various aspects of the treaty, and giving their visions which were not limited to the treaty itself, but also addressed the subsequent developments whether negative or positive.
The session was opened by Ambassador Dr. Mounir Zahran, Chairman of the Council, by a reading of the Treaty recited by Ambassador Dr. Nabil Al-Arabi. Ambassador Dr. Ezzat Saad-Director of ECFA, Ambassador Hazem Khairat, Dr.Mohammed Kamal, Mr. Mohamed Kassem, and General Mohamed Ibrahim, members of ECFA also spoke during this session, in addition to interventions made by a number of attendees.
In his speech, Ambassador Dr.Mounir Zahran, gave a historic presentation of the conflict with Israel, and Ambassador Dr. Nabil Al-Arabi presented in his speech an analysis of the Peace Treaty texts based on his experience, his connection regarding the conflict and, then, the treaty and its consequences with respect to Egypt’s restoration of its entire territory. He explained that he is currently not optimistic about the existence of a genuine international effort to liberate the occupied Arab territories, due to certain reasons including Trump’s policy, the presence of Netanyahu as a Prime Minister of Israel, the Palestinian split, and the inability of the United Nations to stand firmly behind the implementation of its resolutions.
Dr.Mohamed Kamal spoke on the changes that took place in the US position towards the Peace Treaty after Four decades of the treaty.
Ambassador Dr. Ezzat Saad clarified that, the US position forces us to think about alternatives and complements to US role, as the resolutions of the United States including Israel’s annexation of the Golan in absence of any Arab reaction indicates severe powerlessness of the Arab body.
Mr.Mohamed Kassem touched on the prospects of the Egyptian-Israeli economic relations in various fields.
Ambassador Hazem Khairat, former ambassador to Israel, spoke on Israel’s gains from the treaty. He explained that, there is a reasonable segment within the Israeli society that has begun to question and cast doubt on Israel’s right to occupy land by force. He spoke from personal experience on the question that he used to face from the Israelis, namely: Why did not the peace between our countries reach to the citizen in Egypt?, and his natural answer was that as long as comprehensive and just peace and restoration of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people were not achieved, as well as rejection of peace initiatives, then normalization at the peoples’ level will remain non-existent.