Egyptian Ambassador Says Egypt Will Pursue Relationship With HezbollahBy
Israeli media is reporting that Egypt’s ambassador to Lebanon has said that Egypt will pursue a relationship with Hezbollah. According to a Times of Israel report:
December 29, 2012 Egypt’s ambassador to Lebanon said his country will pursue a relationship with Hezbollah, a ‘real political and military force,’ The Daily Star reported Saturday. If implemented, the decision would constitute a dramatic policy shift from that of the former Hosni Mubarak administration. Egypt’s relations with Hezbollah, a Shi’ite Islamic group that is considered a terror organization by the United States, have been strained, in large part, by Cairo’s 1979 peace accord with Israel. The ambassador’s comments on a possible Hezbollah-Egyptian rapprochement came on the heels of the passage of the controversial Muslim Brotherhood-backed constitution by President Mohammed Morsi last week. Speaking from his office in Beirut, Ashraf Hamdy told the Lebanese news source that Egypt’s new foreign policy objectives include the need to explore fresh modes of communications, which means keeping regional contacts ‘tight,’ even with its enemies. ‘You cannot discuss politics in Lebanon without having a relationship with Hezbollah. It is a real force on the ground. It has a big political and military influence in Lebanon,’ the ambassador said. ‘We are stretching our hand out in the proper, balanced way to all regional powers, but of course, we will continue to develop our foreign policy according to our interests,’ he told the paper.
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Should the intended policy become a reality, it would appear to represent a split between the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi. In March 2012, a post reported that Qaradawi had denounced Hezbollah and Iran in connection with the Syrian uprising, saying that Hezbollah treads a path of transgression, murder and tyranny.” Previous posts from 2008 discussed what was at that time on one of the most significant controversies in recent memory involving the global Muslim Brotherhood resulting from comments by Qaradawi accusing Shiites of being heretics intent on invading Sunni societies.