Egypt’s presidential candidate Amr Moussa says the country should put pressure on Israel to lift the crippling blockade on the Gaza Strip.
"The whole world has said exactly what I am saying — that the siege has to come to an end. The old regime was not of the same view," the Arab League chief said in an interview with The Washington Post on Tuesday.
"Blocking Gaza and enforcing the siege along Gaza — people didn’t like that. We should have insisted and used Egyptian-Israeli relations to try and undo and put an end to the siege that caused a lot of suffering to the people of Gaza," he added.
Eighteen days of protests in the North African country terminated Hosni Mubarak’s long-time rule on February 11.
Moussa announced his candidacy for the presidency on February 27 following the announcement of constitutional amendments.
The new constitution limits presidency to two terms and allows for more competition. These elements had been denied under Hosni Mubarak’s authoritarian regime for three decades.
The former Egyptian foreign minister, Moussa, enjoys wide popularity in the country, mainly on account of his strong criticism of Israel.
Most Egyptians regard Israel as an enemy despite the 1979 peace treaty between the two sides.
More than 1.5 million Palestinians are living under the relentless Israeli siege, which has been imposed on the coastal enclave since 2007.
The siege has caused a humanitarian disaster in the impoverished Gaza Strip, where many Palestinians are suffering from unemployment and poverty.