News Column

Uncertain Reaction in Israel to Egyptian Military Shake-up

Aug. 13, 2012

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi's surprise shake-up of Egypt's military, notably his sending Defence Minister Hussein Tantawi into retirement, is unlikely to harm security cooperation between Cairo and Israel, high-ranking Israeli officials told the Ma'ariv daily Monday.

The unnamed officials said that new Egyptian Defence Minister Abdul-Fatah al-Sessi has met in the past with senior Israeli officials who visited Egypt.

However, other sources quoted in the mass-circulation Israeli daily said the dismissal Sunday of Tantawi, was "not good news for Israel."

Tantawi had enjoyed relatively warm relations with Israeli security officials, they said, and now an unclear trial period would begin.

An Israel political official, quoted in the rival Yediot Aharanot daily, said it was still too soon to analyse the effects of the Egyptian shake-up, and the implications it would have for Israel.

But the the daily's analyst, Alex Fishman, wrote that Morsi's move "could have ramifications on the quality and nature of the relationship between the Israeli political-security establishment and the Egyptian establishment."

He predicted that on a tactical level, in the Sinai peninsula, where the two countries have a shared interest in cracking down on Islamist militants, "the ties are likely to continue."

But "they will become chillier" he added.

Source: Copyright 2012 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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