A bipartisan group of 326 House members sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urging all branches of the U.S. government to ensure that prospective Egyptian leaders understand the importance of Egypt's international obligations, specifically its peace treaty with Israel.
Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) coauthored the letter.
As we have watched the uprisings in Egypt, Tunisia and throughout the Middle East, it is clear that the future political landscape of the region will be very different. With the resignation of President Mubarak, we have witnessed a momentous call for democracy from the Egyptian people. We appreciate the administration's efforts to navigate this dynamic period and support the democratic and peaceful aspirations of all Egyptians.
At the same time, we wish to express our concern regarding Egypt's future direction and commitment to its historical obligations. As we navigate this volatile period, and in a situation where we are uncertain of the specific outcome, it is imperative that we work to ensure U.S. foreign policy interests are protected. Egypt has been a good friend to the United States and has played a critical role over the past few decades in fostering regional stability, maintaining its peace with Israel, opposing an Iran with a nuclear weapons capability, ensuring freedom of navigation through the Suez Canal, combating terrorism, and containing Islamic extremism.
We believe that all branches of the U.S. government must be consistent in emphasizing with prospective Egyptian leaders and opposition figures that Egypt's international obligations should be respected during this period of transition and in the future. Specifically, it is in American and Egyptian interests that Egypt maintain its commitment to peace with Israel, as enshrined in the 1978 Camp David Accords and 1979 Peace Treaty. Further, Egypt must work to ensure security on the Egypt-Gaza border.
Above all, we must do all that we can to prevent this historic opportunity from slipping away from us and the Egyptian people. Regional stability is a vital U.S. interest, and the cornerstone of that stability is Egyptian-Israeli peace. As White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs said shortly after President Mubarak's resignation, "It's important that the next government of Egypt recognize the accords that have been signed with Israel." It is our hope that Egypt will be committed to peace with Israel for a stable, secure Middle East going forward.