Published: Tue, January 09, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

Leaked tapes reveal Egypt's support for Trump's Jerusalem decision

Leaked tapes reveal Egypt's support for Trump's Jerusalem decision

The statement also asserted that Egypt's positions on global issues are conveyed by the president, the minister of foreign affairs and in official statements, not from "alleged leaks from an anonymous source".

Egypt's positions "are conveyed by the president, the foreign minister and in official statements", the statement said, adding that the Times does not provide evidence el-Kholi was an officer with the country's intelligence service.

The Times reported that Egyptian intelligence regularly briefs TV hosts on messages leaders want them to communicate to the public, and the recordings showed the officer's conversation partners were all very willing to accommodate the official viewpoint.

Meanwhile, Egyptian state media carried reports suggesting President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi protested the move to Trump himself, while other reports showed religious leaders rejected plans to meet Vice President Mike Pence amid the controversy.

"The point that is risky for us is the intifada issue", Kholi added.

Egypt was among one of the first countries to criticise Trump's move, which prompted widespread global condemnation and deadly protests in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Egypt initiated a Security Council vote which condemned the USA announcement.

However, starting from the Mubarak era, Egypt and Israel have enjoyed a friendlier relationship, despite Egypt's public position of condemning the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

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He added, according to the Times, "At the end of the day, later on, Jerusalem won't be much different from Ramallah".

In a call with Saeed Hassaseen, a TV host and member of parliament, el-Kholi says he was laying out "the stance of Egypt's national security apparatus and what it stands to benefit from in this matter of announcing Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel".

"This thing will become a reality. We have enough on our plate as you know".

Terror group Hamas said Trump's move was a "declaration of war" and called for an Intifada. However, he told the hosts not to toughly condemn the move and persuade the viewers to accept the decision because a strife with Israel is not "in Egypt's national interest".

On Saturday, Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi met with Arab foreign ministers from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, the UAE and the Palestinian Authority as well as Arab League chief Ahmed Abul Gheit to discuss seeking worldwide recognition of eastern Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital.

Hassaseen, who is also an MP, told al-Balad that the Times report was spurious, and that he had not appeared on television for two months.

El-Kholi's other conversations followed a similar line and were with Mofid Fawzy, who denied speaking to el-Kholi, and with Egyptian actress Youssra.

While Egypt would denounce the decision in public, Al-Khouly reportedly said that it is not in the interest of the state for relations with Israel to remain conflictual. He alleged that Egypt's regional foe Qatar and its ruler, Emir Tamim bin Hamad al Thani, were the ones guilty of collaborating with Israel.

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