Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa announced on Tuesday that he was running for president of Egypt in elections scheduled for this year.
In an interview with Al-Masry Al-Youm daily, the former Egyptian foreign minister recalled his disagreements with ousted President Hosni Mubarak regarding Israel. "The foreign ministry during my term suffered from a negative policy on Israel's part with regards to the peace (treaty). I thought we should be honest with the Israelis and take firm measures against them in the framework of the foreign ministry's activities. Maybe this created some discord regarding (Egypt's) relations with Israel."
Moussa, who served as Egyptian foreign minister from 1991 until 2001, also addressed Israel's nuclear program. "The issue was under the full responsibility of the Foreign Ministry. The idea was to establish a nuclear-free zone and simultaneously 'besiege' Israel's nuclear program," he said. Moussa was referring to diplomatic measures he thought should have been taken as a means of curtailing Israel's nuclear program.
"There were disagreements because officials in the president's office feared this (tactic)," Moussa told the Egyptian newspaper.
He continued to say that the "West and Israel are very familiar with my policy. They know I believe the interest is always peace and not war. I've read that Israel is currently trying to maneuver between the political forces (in Egypt) in a bid to thwart my candidacy. I am not ruling this out, but I don't think the national political forces will cooperate with Israel to block the candidacy of an Egyptian citizen."