Saturday, 20 January, 2018

Turkish TV airs Egypt intelligence tapes on Jerusalem

ERIC PIERMONT Pence reschedules Middle East trip for later this month
Charlie Simmons | 09 January, 2018, 01:03

An Egyptian intelligence officer attempted to shape public opinion in the wake of US President Donald Trumps' controversial decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, according to a report by the New York Times.

Egypt on Sunday denied a US media report claiming that it has given a "tacit" acceptance to President Donald Trump's decision to officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

"Moreover, Mrs. Yousra has denied knowing someone by the name Ashraf El-Kholi or that she discussed with anyone the issue of Jerusalem... adding that she was not present in Egypt during the period specified in the report", the press release said.

"The Times" report contains allegations regarding Egypt's position on the Jerusalem issue mentioned in the so-called "audio recordings.' It is inappropriate for The New York Times, a reputable newspaper, to publish such allegations", the Egyptian government said in a statement.

Television host Azmi Megahed allegedly confirmed the authenticity of the record, the article said.

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

SIS said Egypt's position on Jerusalem "was translated in stances and measures taken at the United Nations and other worldwide organizations despite US threats of aid cut".

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In addition to the call with Megahed, three other audio recordings of strikingly similar telephone conversations with the same intelligence agent, Capt. Kholi, were all provided to The New York Times by an intermediary supportive of the Palestinian cause and opposed to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. "We have enough on our plate".

The actual government position: that while Palestinians' rights deserve to be heard at some level, Egypt accepts Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, as Egypt has more pressing security concerns that is shares with Israel.

He added, "I think the U.S. is working intentionally to try to create an atmosphere which says that their move has been committed or taken with a tacit approval of certain Arab governments". 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". "Hamas would be reborn once more", Capt. Kholi explained.

The statements attributed to Kholi "can fit in with the desire to control the flames", he said.

"At the end of the day, later on, Jerusalem won't be much different from Ramallah".

Egypt submitted a UN Security Council resolution demanding a reversal of Trump's move on Jerusalem, but the resolution was vetoed by Washington. "Concessions are a must and if we reach a concession whereby Jerusalem will be - Ramallah will be the capital of Palestine, to end the war and so no one else dies, then we would go for it".

The article claimed it is common practice for Egyptian intelligence officers to brief talk show hosts about what the state wants to be said or left unsaid in the mass media. "I have no problem saying all of the things you have heard in that call in public".

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