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

Egypt denies 'tacit' acceptance of US Jerusalem move

Egypt denies 'tacit' acceptance of US Jerusalem move

Kholi said conflict with Israel was not in Egypt's best interest, and that Palestinians should recognize Ramallah, a West Bank town that houses the Palestinian Authority, as their capital.

The article by Kirkpatrick, the Times' global correspondent in London, claimed the newspaper obtained audio recordings of telephone calls between an alleged Egyptian intelligence officer and the hosts of several talk shows in Egypt instructing them to persuade their viewers to accept US President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the US embassy to the city last December.

The New York Times said Saturday Cairo allegedly instructed talk show hosts to persuade viewers to accept the USA move.

"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 SIS said.

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

Egypt's State Information Service has denied the Times' January 6 report in a statement, saying its stance on Jerusalem remains unchanged.

The statement added that Egypt has expressed "in word and dead" its position on the Jerusalem issue at the United Nations despite threats by the U.S. to cut off aid to countries that condemn its Jerusalem decision at the UN General Assembly.

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 now".

Kholi alluded to Egypt's acceptance of Ramallah as a Palestinian capital, in fear of another intifada.

El-Kholi called the reaction to Trump's decision "dangerous" and said it could strengthen Hamas, the group that controls the Gaza Strip. "Hamas would be reborn once more".

The government statement also said there is no evidence that al-Kholi is actually a member of the security services.

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

"There is a political decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and we will strive to reach an global political decision to recognize a Palestinian state ... with (eastern) Jerusalem as its capital", Safadi said.

Egyptian leaders refused a meeting with US Vice President Mike Pence, and Egypt submitted a United Nations Security Council resolution seeking to undo Trump's decision, which was ultimately vetoed by the US. "What matters is ending the suffering of the Palestinian people", Captain Kholi said.

Talk shows are highly influential in Egypt.

The Times said Kholi held conversations with others it described as well-known hosts, Mofid Fawzy and Saeed Hassaseen, as well as with singer-actress Cevine Nessim, known by her stage name Yousra.

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