Egypt's State Information Service (SIS) refuted in a press release an exclusive report published by the New York Times (NYT) revealing Egyptian leaders' "Tacit" acceptance of the United States declaration of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
The Saturday report stated that the Times had obtained audio recordings of telephone calls made by an intelligence officer named Captain Ashraf al-Kholi to four "influential" radio hosts after US President Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
The New York Times said Saturday Cairo allegedly instructed talk show hosts to persuade viewers to accept the USA move.
An article in The New York Times alleged that an Egyptian intelligence officer has been directing talk show hosts to downplay the issue which has provoked widespread anger in the Moslem world. The Times said the recordings all appeared to match public recordings of the hosts' voices and that one of the hosts, Azmi Megahed, confirmed during an interview with the newspaper the authenticity of the recording in which he is heard agreeing with Kholi.
"Egypt's positions on global issues are not derived from alleged leaks from an anonymous source".
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.
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The TV personalities mentioned in the New York Times report denied involvement in the case, saying they do not know anyone by the name of Ashraf Al-Khouly. "We have enough on our plate as you know".
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.
"The point that is unsafe for us is the intifada issue", Captain Kholi explained. "Hamas would be reborn once more", Capt. Kholi explained.
He added, according to the Times, "At the end of the day, later on, Jerusalem won't be much different from Ramallah".
The statements attributed to Kholi "can fit in with the desire to control the flames", he said.
Egypt has long accused Hamas of supporting groups fighting its security forces in the Sinai peninsula, a region that borders Gaza and Israel. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas warned that Trump's announcement "will lead to wars without end".
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Shortly after Trump's Jerusalem decision, Egypt submitted a resolution to the UN Security Council demanding its reversal.
"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.
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"I am friends with Ashraf and we talk all the time", Megahed said.
The other calls were with Mofid Fawzy, who denied speaking to el-Kholi, and with Egyptian singer and actress Youssra.
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