Egypt on Sunday got its second new government in less than six weeks, including a new foreign minister who is expected to take a tougher line with Israel than the government of the ousted president Hosni Mubarak did...
In one of the most significant shifts, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Egypt's foreign minister since 2004, was replaced by Nabil Elaraby, a career diplomat who won plaudits from demonstrators for joining the crowds in Cairo's Tahrir Square shortly before Mubarak resigned. He was subsequently appointed to the council of "wise men" named by the demonstrators to help steer the country's path to democracy.
As a member of the team that negotiated the Camp David peace treaty with Israel in 1978, he can be expected to abide by all of Egypt's existing commitments to Israel, analysts and former colleagues said. But he is renowned for having voiced reservations about some of the treaty's clauses to then-President Anwar Sadat, and "will not be willing to accept Israeli excesses in the occupied territories," said Mustapha Kamel al-Sayyid, a professor of political science at Cairo University.
"Public opinion in Egypt is in favor of a less soft approach to Israel and I think he shares this feeling," he added. "It will be very difficult for him to make the kind of concessions Hosni Mubarak made to Israel," such as during the 2009 Gaza war, when Egypt closed its border with Gaza.