Senior Egyptian Intelligence Officer Asks TV Hosts to Accept US Jerusalem Announcement


The New York Times said on Saturday that it had recordings of four phone calls the officer, a Captain Ashraf al-Kholi, made to Egyptian actress Yousra and presenters Mofid Fawzy, Saeed Hassaseen and Azmi Megahed. "We have enough on our plate as you know", Kholi allegedly said regarding the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

"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. At the time, White House aides insisted the move had nothing to do with uproar in the region over the Trump administration's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

"Egypt's positions on worldwide issues are not derived from alleged leaks from an anonymous source".

Azmy Megahed, who was the fourth host on the list, denied to SIS knowing who Ashral el-Kholi is.

Trump's December declaration of Jerusalem as Israel's capital and his promise to move the US embassy there sparked violence in the Muslim world.

"At President Trump's direction, the Vice President is traveling to the Middle East to reaffirm our commitment to work with the U.S.'s allies in the region to defeat radicalism that threatens future generations", Pence's press secretary Alyssa Farah said in a statement on Monday morning. "Hamas would be reborn once more".

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

In response to Trump's move, Egypt publicly said the decision was a violation of worldwide resolutions on the city's status.

The vice president was slapped with several meeting cancelations by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the Coptic Orthodox Pope well as al-Azhar, the Egypt's highest Islamic body.

Jerusalem's status has always been one of the main obstacles to a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

In his December 6 address from the White House, Trump defied worldwide warnings and insisted that after repeated failures to achieve peace, a new approach was long overdue, describing his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital as merely based on reality. But the Palestinian leader pulled out of the meeting in protest.

Many U.S. allies disagreed with Trump's decision, as no other country has its embassy in Jerusalem, under a long-standing global consensus the city's status should be decided in a peace deal between the Israelis and the Palestinians.