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Fact Sheets: Egyptian Presidential Elections - Amr Moussa

(Updated June 2012)

Amr Moussa is a diplomat and politican who served as the Secretary General of the Arab League from June 2001 to June 2011.

Prior to his Arab League post, Moussa served as Foreign Minister under Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak from 1991 to 2001, and as Egypt's ambassador to India in 1984 and to the United Nations in 1990. He was once described by TIME Magazine as the most popular public servant in the Arab world and his name was even included in a song by Egyptian pop star Shaaban Abdel Rahim, the chorus of which proclaimed: "I hate Israel but I love Amr Moussa."

After an appearance in February 2011 during protests in Cairo's Tahrir Square, the heart of the January 2011 Egyptian revolution, Moussa rose to prominence as a potential candidate to replace Mubarak. In 2012, he officially announced his candidacy in the presidential elections set for May of that year.

Below is a sampling of his views on certain important issues:
Changing the Government | Relations with Israel | Cooperating with Islamists | Israel-Palestinian Peace | Israeli Policy
American Foreign Policy | Relations with Iran | Relations with Hamas & Fatah

On Changing the Government in Egypt

- "[The Military Council] will hand over the authority [after elections]. I think that doing otherwise will be catastrophic for everyone ... The military will be one of the basic institutions in the country, but not a separate one, meaning not having a life of its own."
(Al Arabiya, February 2012)

- "A state is a state. It has one head, not two. It has one legislative institution, not two . It has one government, not two ... we are moving forward on a democratic path not ruled by military forces."
(Foreign Policy, February 2012)

- "The era of Egyptian presidents getting 99.9 per cent approval ratings is over!"
(The Telegraph, October 2011)

- "The former regime has left Egypt in a really bad shape ... Our mission is to rebuild, with an agenda of democracy, reform and development. But what we need is not some superficial definition of democracy, with someone dropping a piece of paper in a ballot box with a cameraman in the room. It means basic rights and fundamental freedoms and security for all."
(The Telegraph, October 2011)

- "The coming president of Egypt, whoever he is, must, in my opinion, stay for one term only ... to lead the process of reform and put the country on the road to stability."
(The Guardian, March 2011)

- "In the new era, the door is open for everyone to participate. And that new era begins with empowerment and opening the door to genuine competition."
(Egypt Independent, March 2011)

- “The government of Egypt should be left to democracy and democratic forces and I am not afraid of that.”
(CNN, February 2011)

- “Reforms have to take place immediately and they have to be sustained. The message of the people is clear.” 
(Al-Masry Al-Youm, January 2011)

On Relations with Israel

- "We have lots of disagreements. Most of our people consider it an enemy, but the responsibility of the president is to deal with such things responsibly and not run after hot-headed slogans."
(Presidential Debate, May 2012)

- "The Camp David Accord is a historical document whose place is on the memory shelf, since its articles talk about the fact that the aim of the agreement is to establish an independent Palestinian state, his accord is dead and buried."
(Times of Israel, April 2012)

- "The message to Israel is clear: an entry permit to the region includes forgoing the policy of intransigence, threat, settlements and occupation and establishing a sovereign Palestinian state."
(Times of Israel, March 2012)

- “I believe that we should adhere to [1979 Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty], as we do with all of our international commitments and treaties, as long as the other party adheres to it too"
(Foreign Policy, February 2012)

- "Within a security context in Sinai, the treaty has to be revisited. Unfortunately, the treaty in its current form has led to the Egyptian government's inability to enforce the rule of law in Sinai and on the border. Egypt as a sovereign state should be able to fully secure its borders."
(Foreign Policy, February 2012)

- "We want to be a friend of Israel, but it has to have two parties, it is not on Egypt to be a friend. Israel has to be a friend, too."
(Wall Street Journal, May 2011)

- “The Rafah crossing [Egypt and Gaza] should be open as a rule, rather than an exception. Palestinians must be allowed to move in and out.”
(New York Times, February 2010)

- “The Middle East doesn’t need any nuclear program. This applies to Iran as it applies to Israel…. We cannot comprehend when we are told that the Iranian program is dangerous, the Israeli program is not.”
(Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, February 2009)

On Cooperating with Islamists & the Muslim Brotherhood

- "Democracy produced the current parliament [majority Islamist parties]. You cannot have democracy and reject its results ... Therefore I would be looking to cooperate and work with the parliament."
(Foreign Policy, February 2012)

- “We cannot ignore the political forces including the Muslim Brotherhood- the main opposition movement in the country.”
(Europe 1, February 2011)

On Peace Between Israel and the Palestinians

- “The political will on the Arab side is there- we have the Arab initiative- what is lacking is the political will on the Israeli side.”
(Financial Times, September 2010)

- "To do [negotiations] without preconditions, including no time limit, no time frame, means that we're back to where we were in the 60s and 70s and 80s and 90s of last century. So, we cannot allow that and we shall not allow it ... the proximity talks don't achieve anything."
(Huffington Post, August 2010)

- “We need to have serious work in order to put an end to the miserable situation of the Palestinian question and the situation in the occupied territories. A Palestinian state has to be established.”
(World Economic Forum, January 2009)

- “Israel has not accepted the two-state solution. Until now there is not one official statement that Israel accepts the two-state solution and accepts to have a viable Palestinian state…. The Israelis do not want a Palestinian state”
(Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, February 2009)

- “Yes, Hamas accepts the notion of two states….  So, if the Israelis are serious then all Palestinian factions will accept a two-state solution.”
(Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, February 2009)

On Israeli Policy in the Palestinian Territories

- “There is a growing feeling now that after the malicious assault against Gaza, knowing that the attacks, the bombing of houses or hospitals, would result in massive civilian casualties, this has cast a lot of doubts on the real intentions of Israel and whether the Israeli policy would be able to move towards peace or whether they would continue doing what they are doing to people under occupation.”
(Al-Jazeera, February 2009)

- “[Israel is] removing a village, building a settlement. Removing people, bringing in settlers… this was aimed at procrastination, at giving the Israeli government time to settle the occupied territories.”  
(Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, February 2009)

-“I must say that what happened in Gaza should not go unpunished. The people who perpetrated such attacks against civilians with clear cut violations of the fourth Geneva Convention and international humanitarian law… those perpetrators should be punished.”
(Al-Jazeera, February 2009)

- “Israeli policy disregards international opinion…. They believe that they have that right according to their own logic which no one agrees with.”
(France 24, April 2010)

- “Israel feels that they enjoy immunity against international law so why should they bother, why should they concede, why should they allow a Palestinian state to be created.”
(Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, February 2009)

On American Foreign Policy in the Middle East

- "In all honesty, I am dissapointed [with President Barack Obama] .. Our previous experience shows that there is no differences, or only minor differences, between the first term of an American president and his second."
(Foreign Policy, February 2012)

- "What is happening in Libya differs from the aim of imposing a no-fly zone, and what we want is the protection of civilians and not the bombardment of more civilians."
(Jerusalem Post, March 2011)

- "Number one, we are against any strike against Iran. Number two, we find the process of negotiations (over Iran's nuclear program) important ... I fail to understand why some call on the "process of negotiation" between the Palestinians and Mr. Netanyahu, and then when it comes to Iran, negotiations are somehow a bad thing? And if they say the negotiations haven't reached anywhere with Iran, well, have negotiations reached anywhere with the Israeli government? By this same token, there has to be a process of negotiation with Iran."
(Huffington Post, August 2010)

- “A change has to come first through the system itself that was based on feeding the hatred between the West and Islam according to the theories of the neo-conservatives.” 
(World Economic Forum, January 2009)

-“[The US] don’t have to reinvent the wheel. But there was no wheel for the last 8 years. Annapolis has failed; we should not build on Annapolis.”
(Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, February 2009)

On Relations with Iran

- "I am against a war with Iran. Iran is an Arab country! And we have to listen and talk."
(Presidential Debate, May 2012)

On Relationship between Hamas and Fatah

- "It is critical to move forward and that is why we are very actively trying to achieve reconciliation. It is critical ... I am trying myself, meeting with (Hamas chief Khaled) Meshaal, meeting with (Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail) Haniyeh, visting Gaza ... we are trying."
(Huffington Post, August 2010)

- “The situation is changing. I am not claiming that this will be total reconciliation within a day but they are on that track. Both of them know that none of them will be the victor, that both of them will lose if they continue on this track.”
(Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, February 2009)

- “There has to be two-state solution or one-state solution, not three-state solution… we must work towards the reconciliation of the Palestinian lines.”
(Al-Jazeera, February 2009)