World Bulletin / News Desk
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reportedly got a key promise from Egypt's new President, which he would not put Israel peace deal to public referendum.
Since the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak last year, Muslim Brotherhood leaders have occasionally said they would put the unpopular 1979 peace treaty with Israel to a public referendum.
Clinton flew to Israel from Egypt, where she held talks on Saturday with with newly-elected President Mohammed Mursi and military leader Field Marshall Hussein Tantawi.
On the last leg of a 12-day, eight-nation tour, Clinton met early on Monday with her Israeli counterpart Avigdor Lieberman before meeting Peres, briefing both on her talks in Cairo with Mursi and Tantawi.
Peres thanked Clinton for her efforts to shore up the peace between Israel and the new Egyptian leadership.
“We appreciate very much that immediately after Egypt, you came to us with your latest impression because for us, as well as for the United States, Egypt is a key country in the Middle East and much depends on Egypt and a little bit on us as well, to continue the great march of peace,” he said.
“Israel is very much interested in keeping the peace with the largest Arab country.”
Clinton, who was to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak later in the day, was to tell them that their counterparts in Cairo had reaffirmed support for Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel during her visit.
Turkish semi-state news agency AA reported, citing unnamed sources close to presidency, Clinton demanded Mursi gave up the referendum plan over the peace deal with Israel and Mursi accepted the demand.
Egypt became the first Arab nation to sign a peace accord with Israel in 1979 despite latter's occupation of Palestinian territoires.