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Brotherhood lawmaker: No vote on Egypt-Israel peace deal

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Hundreds of supporters of Muslim Brotherhood presidential hopeful Khairat el-Shater gather April 5, 2012, outside the Higher Presidential Elections Commission in Cairo. (Associated Press)

A lawmaker from Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood said Thursday that there would be “no referendum” on the country’s peace treaty with Israel.

“We respect international obligations, period,” Abdul Mawgoud Dardery, a lawmaker from the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), told The Washington Times.

Asked if a Brotherhood-led government would put the 1979 Camp David Accords to a referendum, as many of the Islamist group’s leaders have promised, Mr. Dardery said no.

“No referendum at all concerning international obligations,” he said. “All our international agreements are respected by the Freedom and Justice Party, including Camp David.”

“These are ideas being circulated within Egypt,” Mr. Dardery said of a potential referendum. “That is not the stand of the Freedom and Justice Party.”

Click here to listen to Dardery speak with TWT.

But Mr. Dardery added that the Brotherhood expects “all parties” to respect the Camp David Accords. “We will never be the first to break with the international agreements,” he said.

On Thursday, FJP presidential candidate Khairat al-Shater filed papers with Egypt’s High Presidential Elections Commission.

The Brotherhood had promised not to field a presidential candidate but changed course Saturday, citing threats to democracy from the military council that has ruled Egypt since the ouster of longtime President Hosni Mubarak last year.

Mr. Dardery said the military’s calls to dissolve the parliament threatened to take “Egypt back to square one, where the president has sweeping powers, so we really wanted to make sure that democracy road is protected by the people of Egypt.”

Mr. Dardery is in Washington with other FJP representatives for meetings with White House and State Department officials.

About the Author
Ben Birnbaum

Ben Birnbaum is a reporter covering foreign affairs for The Washington Times. Prior to joining The Times, Birnbaum worked as a reporter-researcher at the New Republic. A Boston-area native, he graduated magna cum laude from Cornell University with a degree in government and psychology. He won multiple collegiate journalism awards for his articles and columns in the Cornell Daily Sun.

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