World Bulletin / News Desk
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Tuesday he hoped Egypt's new Islamist President Mohamed Mursi would soon visit the Jewish state.
Mursi told Reuters in an interview on Monday he would pursue a "balanced" foreign policy and indicated that Israel's peace treaty with Egypt was safe.
"We definitely hope to see President Mursi receive official Israeli representatives in the near future. We want to see him interviewed by the Israeli media. We want to see him visit Jerusalem as a guest of President (Shimon) Peres in Israel," the ultranationalist Lieberman told a legal conference in Tel Aviv.
Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood movement describes Israel as a racist and expansionist state because the latter occupies Palestinian territories.
Mursi's emphasis on balance in the interview with Reuters suggested he would seek a less explicitly pro-American role for Egypt in the region than under the ousted Hosni Mubarak. But he has also been at pains to reassure traditional allies.
Egypt and Israel made peace in 1979 after fighting four wars. Mubarak served for decades as a loyal U.S. ally and guarantor of Egypt's status as the first Arab country to sign a treaty with Israel.
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Topics expected to be discussed include on-going peace talks with ethnic rebel groups, national reconciliation and reforms.