Morsy’s Peaceful Letter to Israel in Dispute
Egypt denies its' President sent the letter, but President Peres says it’s real
A spokesperson for Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy has denied reports of Israeli officials that claim Morsy sent a letter to Israeli President Shimon Peres, in which he supposedly expressed hope for peace in the Middle East and thanked Peres for his Ramadan greetings.
The letter was posted by Shimon Peres’ official Facebook page and Twitter account on Tuesday.
“I was with deep thanks that I received your congratulations on the advent of the Holy Month of Ramadan,” read the letter, addressed to Peres.
“I take this opportunity to reiterate that I am looking forward to exerting our best efforts to get the Middle East Peace Process back to its right track in order to achieve security and stability for all peoples of the region, including that Israeli people.”
A scanned copy of the letter posted by President Peres' official Facebook page and Twitter account
But Egyptian officials denied the legitimacy of the letter later in the day, claiming that any Israeli report “regarding the letter does not correspond to reality.”
In a statement, Morsy’s spokesman Yasser Ali said, “There is no truth to these [reports]. President Morsy did not send any letter to the Israeli president.”
The denial seems odd given that the message was reportedly printed on the official letterhead of the Egyptian ambassador to Israel, along with the embassy’s official stamps.
Officials from Peres’ office say they received the letter from Egypt’s embassy in Tel Aviv after senior Egyptian officials in Cairo notified the Israeli embassy in Egypt.
An official from Peres’ office told AFP on Wednesday that the Israeli President stands by the letter.
“We received it from the embassy in Tel Aviv,” said the official. “We checked it with them and we asked them to check whether it was okay to publish it and they got back to us and confirmed it was okay to publish it.”
But an official at the Egyptian embassy said the press attaché was “on holiday” and could not be reached for comment when contacted by AFP.
Morsy’s supposed letter, which was written in English and dated July 15, seemed as though it was in response to a message sent by Peres a month ago, in which the Israeli President congratulated Morsy for winning the Egyptian election in June. Peres followed up with a second letter to the Egyptian President, in which he offered his blessing ahead of the month of Ramadan.
“As someone who took part in the process that led to the signing of the peace agreement between your country and mine, I know that both Egypt and Israel see with utmost importance peace and stability in our region as something that serves the interests of all peoples of the region,” Peres wrote in the July 1 letter.
“We in Israel all greatly respect Egypt and the Egyptian people, who pioneered and outlined the path of peace and reconciliation in the region. We know that the work has not been completed.We look forward to further cooperating with you based on the peace accords signed between us more than three decades ago. Our commitment to preserve and nurture these accords will benefit both our peoples. Unlike war, peace is victory for both sides.”
A tweet from Peres’ twitter account on Wednesday reiterated the commitment of the Israeli government for peace with Egypt.
“It is our interests to see Egypt becoming a prosperous country,” Peres tweeted. “We will continue to do what we can to maintain good relations with Egypt.”