Egypt Commits to Maintaining Israel Peace Treaty

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Egypt has reportedly reaffirmed its commitment to a peace treaty with Israel after growing tension in the Sinai, according to Arabic-language Al-Hayat.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak talked with his Egyptian counterpart, Gen. Abdel Fattah el-Sissi on Wednesday, Al-Hayat reported on Friday.

El-Sissi reportedly called to allay Israeli concerns over the deployment of tanks and other military equipment in the Sinai and to affirm Egypt's commitment to the 1979 peace treaty with Israel.

After calling Barak, el-Sissi met with newly installed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi.

Quoting an unnamed senior Egyptian military source, Al-Hayat said the two ministers reached an unspecified agreement regarding the security situation in the Sinai.

Israeli sources did not confirm the report.

Earlier this week, Israel sent a letter to Cairo voicing concern over the buildup of tanks, aircraft, rocket launchers, and anti-missile systems in the Sinai, which Egypt said it needs to track down terrorists operating in the vast desert region.

Israel initially approved Egypt's counter-terror activities, which began after a Sinai-based terror cell killed 16 Egyptian soldiers at an army base near the border with Israel on Aug. 5.

Several of them strapped with suicide belts managed to breach the border with Israel in an explosives-laden pickup truck and a stolen armored vehicle. They were stopped by Israel Defense Forces tank fire and an air strike.

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