Egypt house votes to expel Israeli envoy

Parliament's lower chamber approves text which calls on the government "to revise all its relations... with that enemy".

    The text presented to parliament said: 'Egypt will never be the friend or ally of the Zionist entity' [GALLO/GETTY]

    Egypt's lower house of parliament has called for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador from Cairo and halting of gas
    exports.

    The vote was taken by a show of hands on a report approved by the Arab affairs committee of the People's Assembly calling for "the expulsion from Egypt of the Israeli ambassador and the recall of Egypt's envoy from Tel Aviv", the official MENA news agency reported on Monday.

    According to the text, the MPs have also called for a halt of gas exports to Israel.

    "Egypt will never be the friend, partner or ally of the Zionist entity which we consider as the first enemy of Egypt and the Arab nation," read the text.

    It also called on the Egyptian government "to revise all its relations and agreements with that enemy."

    The motion is seen as largely symbolic as only the ruling military council can make such decisions. There was no immediate comment from Israel on the vote.

    Egypt and Israel have been bound by a peace treaty since 1979 but ties have strained since Hosni Mubarak was forced to step down as president last year by a popular uprising.

    Israel has responded cautiously to the Arab Spring and in January it congratulated Egypt on the inauguration of its first post-revolutionary parliament. It has repeatedly stressed the importance of preserving the treaty between the two countries, and has called on Egypt's new leadership to publicly state their commitment to the accord.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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