Egypt denies it urged quiet acceptance of Trump's Jerusalem decision

10 January, 2018, 02:04 | Author: Brenda Erickson
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An Egyptian intelligence officer asked influential talk show hosts in the country to downplay the significance of President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Egypt's top prosecutor Nabil Sadek has ordered an urgent investigation into a recent report by the New York Times alleging that it obtained recordings of phone calls where an alleged Egyptian intelligence officer is heard instructing talk show hosts to convince their audience to accept Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.

The other calls were with Mofid Fawzy, who denied speaking to el-Kholi, and with Egyptian singer and actress Youssra.

"The Times's report claims that Capt Ashraf al-Kholi is an officer with the Egyptian General Intelligence without presenting its readers with the slightest evidence as to the truth of this piece of information or that a person by this name exists in the first place", the SIS statement said.

Shortly after Trump's Jerusalem decision, Egypt submitted a draft resolution to the UN Security Council demanding its reversal, but it was vetoed by the United States. Some analysts argue that this convergence of interests has prompted regional Muslim nations to prioritize fostering relations with the Jewish state over resolving the Palestinian issue.

The Saturday report, written by David Kirkpatrick, the Times' global correspondent in London, claimed to have obtained audio recordings of telephone conversations between an Egyptian intelligence official and Egyptian TV talk show hosts.

Israel occupied east Jerusalem and the West Bank in 1967 and later annexed east Jerusalem in a move never recognized by the worldwide community.

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The SIS revealed that Yousra would seek legal action for defamation by the Times report.

"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.

"I am friends with Ashraf (the agent) and we talk all the time", he told the Times.

"We, like all our Arab brothers, are denouncing this matter", Captain Kholi said. But, he added, "After that, this thing will become a reality". Palestinians can't resist and we don't want to go to war. "We have enough on our plate as you know". "Hamas would be reborn once more", Kholi said, according to the paper.

The Times said that the recordings were furnished by an intermediary supportive of the Palestinian cause and opposed to Sisi.

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

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