January 31, 2012 Special Dispatch No. 4461

Egyptian Salafi Al-Nour Party Leader Imad Al-Din Abd Al-Ghafour Evades Answering Whether His Party Will Respect the Camp David Accords

January 31, 2012
Egypt | Special Dispatch No. 4461

Following are excerpts from an interview with Imad Al-Din Abd Al-Ghafour, head of the Salafi Al-Nour party in Egypt, which aired on Al-Jazeera Network on January 4, 2012:

Imad Al-Din Abd Al-Ghafour: "The truth is that when I was a college student, we used to demonstrate against the Camp David Accords. I was 18 then, and I haven't changed my views since. The Al-Nour party does not and will not negotiate with the Israeli embassy…"

Interviewer: "I'm talking about the country, not the embassy…"

Imad Al-Din Abd Al-Ghafour: "Let me reiterate: We will not negotiate with the Israeli embassy.

"Egypt as a country…"

Interviewer: "Even if you join the government?"

Imad Al-Din Abd Al-Ghafour: "The Al-Nour party has nothing…"

Interviewer: "But what if you join the government? Israel has relations with Egypt. What will you do?"

Imad Al-Din Abd Al-Ghafour: "If any diplomat or minister, like the foreign minister, takes action, he does so in his official capacity for the sake of Egypt's interests, and in order to implement the terms of the treaty between Egypt and another country."

Interviewer: "I am talking about Israel, not any other country…"

Imad Al-Din Abd Al-Ghafour: "As I was saying, when an Egyptian official, regardless of his political affiliation, acts, he does so as part of his duties…"

Interviewer: "Even if he is from the Al-Nour Party?"

Imad Al-Din Abd Al-Ghafour: "He'd be representing the entire Egyptian people, not just the Al-Nour party."

Interviewer: "You said that you demonstrated against the Camp David Accords. Are you still against these accords?"

Imad Al-Din Abd Al-Ghafour: "The truth is that the peace treaty and the Camp David Accords were the first step that removed Egypt from the ranks of the Arabs, and to tell the truth, ever since, the Arab ranks lack a leader. This position of leadership needs Egypt back."

Interviewer: "That's all well and good, but you haven't answered my question. Are you still against the Camp David Accords?"

Imad Al-Din Abd Al-Ghafour: "The Al-Nour party, of which I am undoubtedly the head, does not accept many of the clauses of the Camp David Accords…"

Interviewer: "Clauses? Does that mean you demand that the treaty be reexamined?"

Imad Al-Din Abd Al-Ghafour: "Clauses that disregard Egyptian or Arab rights should undoubtedly be…"

Interviewer: "But you will respect the agreement as a whole?"

Imad Al-Din Abd Al-Ghafour: "Let me explain that as a party, we don't have any ties with the Israeli embassy, or Israel…"

Interviewer: "Never mind the embassy. I'm talking about the treaty."

Imad Al-Din Abd Al-Ghafour: "As I said, many of this treaty's clauses are not in the best interest of Egypt, or the Arabs and Muslims."

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