Egypt: No Islamic State at our Border

Ad Feedback - CAIRO, Egypt - A member of Egypt's ruling party said his nation would not accept an Islamic state at the border with Gaza.

"Egypt will not accept the establishment of an Islamic emirate along the eastern border," Mustafa el-Fiqi, head of his country's foreign relations committee, told the London-based Arabic newspaper al-Quds al-Arabi.

At a conference sponsored by MENA news agency, el-Fiqi said the Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip in June 2007 served Israeli rather than Palestinian interests.

"Whoever committed this coup provided the greatest service to Israel by depriving the Palestinian cause of its content," el-Fiqi told conference participants.

"[The] attribution of a religious nature [to the goal of Palestinian unity] is leading to fragmentation," he said, in a veiled reference to Islam.

Meanwhile, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit said Hamas's Islamic leaders are responsible for the breakdown in talks with Palestinian Authority - PA - President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction.

Egyptian-mediated efforts to reconcile the two Palestinian factions have failed "due to Hamas's lack of enthusiasm for reconciliation," Gheit told Egypt's state-run al-Ahram newspaper.

Last month, Hamas refused to participate in what was touted as a breakthrough meeting between the two rival factions, demanding that Abbas release Hamas prisoners as a precondition to further negotiations.

According to Dr. Abdel Monem Said Aly, director of Cairo's al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, Egypt, as a secular Arab state, is trying to use dialogue to foster Palestinian unity, while simultaneously protecting its interests.

" [Egypt] is patiently working to change the situation in Gaza," Aly said, "[While] taking into consideration that we're dealing with a reality that [Hamas] is also in command of a million and a half Palestinians."

Source: The Jerusalem Post

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