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Israel summons Egyptian envoy over "peace treaty change" remarks

(Xinhua)

15:30, September 17, 2011

JERUSALEM, Sept. 16 (Xinhua) -- The Israeli Foreign Ministry Friday summoned the Egyptian ambassador over disputed remarks by Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf that the peace treaty between the two countries is "open to changes."

During an interview with a Turkish TV Thursday, Sharaf said that the 1979 Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty is not "sacred" and is open to discussion and changes.

Israeli Foreign Ministry Director General Rafi Barak asked the Egyptian envoy to clarify Sharaf's comments, according to local daily The Jerusalem Post.

The voice in Egypt calling for nullification of the peace treaty has considerably heightened after the resignation of former President Hosni Mubarak, although the ruling military authorities issued a statement in February, vowing to honor all regional and international agreements.

Recent months following Mubarak's ouster have witnessed a quick deterioration of bilateral relations between Israel and Egypt. The strained situation worsened last week when hundreds of Egyptians, protesting against Israeli forces' killing of five Egyptian police officers along the border, stormed the Israeli embassy in Cairo and forced an emergent evacuation of Jewish diplomats.

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