Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, who died Tuesday aged 91, for his commitment to peace, while Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas hailed his support for the “Palestinian cause”.
“In the name of Israel’s citizens and government, I’d like to express deep sorrow over the passing of president Hosni Mubarak,” Netanyahu said, calling the long-serving Egyptian leader “a personal friend.. who brought his people to peace and security (and to peace with Israel”.
A statement from Abbas’s office said he mourned the death “with great sorrow” and hailed the “late president’s positions in support of the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian people in achieving their freedom and independence”.
In 1979 Egypt, under President Anwar Sadat, became the first Arab state to make peace with Israel and establish full diplomatic relations.
As part of that accord Israel later withdrew from the Sinai peninsula, which it had captured in the 1967 Six Day war.