Israeli government and military leaders were taken aback by the news of US President Barack Obama’s invitation to the new Egyptian president Mohammed Mursi to visit Washington in September – in breach of the president’s assurances to US Jewish leaders at the White House last month, DEBKAfile’s exclusive Washington and Jerusalem sources report. His key assurance was that Mursi would not be invited to the White House and Obama would not maintain direct telephone contact with him until he met certain conditions, the foremost of which concerned a public and unambiguous commitment to Egypt’s 1979 peace treaty with Israel.
They American Jewish delegation was assured that President Mursi would be required to devote a section of his earliest speech on foreign affairs to the specific affirmation of his profound commitment to the peace pact with Israel. The unspecific pledge to uphold Cairo’s international accords he made upon his election on June 24 would not satisfy the US president, the American Jewish delegation was promised. Indeed the new Egyptian president would also be required to table the peace pact with Israel in the new Egyptian parliament for ratification.
With these assurances, the Jewish delegation was satisified.
However, it turned out Monday, July 8, that, instead of standing by his promises, President Obama had sent Deputy Secretary of State William Burns to Cairo for two days of interviews with Egyptian officials, in none of which did future relations with Israel figure. President Mursi’s spokesman then announced that the US official had handed the new president an invitation to visit the White House in September. Neither Burns nor the White House contradicted him.