Egypt-Israel Political Tension May Affect Agreements

Sources close to decision making circles disclosed that Egypt recently rejected the second phase of the QUIZ agreement which allows textiles and other Egyptian items access into the American markets. The sources added that this step was taken by the Egyptian government as a punitive measure against Israel to halt its aggression on Lebanon and accept a political solution by which the issue of the two Israeli soldiers abducted by Hizbullah can be settled. According to the sources, Egypt rejected to receive an Israeli delegation from Merits Movement headed by Yossi Belin and another delegation from Peace Now group, a visit which was due to take place next week. This attitude on the part of Egypt comes as a an angry reaction to the Israeli massacres against the Lebanese people, the recent of which was Qana massacre in south Lebanon which took the lives of 57 civilians most of whom were from among  the youth.

The Egyptian government also rejected to renew the agreement on fighting deforestation which was concluded with Israel in the eighties of the past century and is renewed every five years, the sources said, adding that Cairo even warned Tel Aviv that it will step up its punitive measures within the coming period if Israel doesn’t halt its aggression on Lebanon or if its aggression spills over into other Arab states. However, the sources declined to say whether the threats of Cairo include the withdrawal of the Egyptian ambassador in Tel Aviv or expelling the Israeli ambassador in Cairo.