US Vice President Mike Pence to travel to Middle East next week

Michele Moreno
January 9, 2018

NYT report said that an officer in Egypt's intelligence agency called Ashraf al-Kholi secretly phone called several hosts of influential talk shows in Egypt to instruct them to denounce the declaration.

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.

"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.

Following the report, the Egyptian State Information Service said: "Egypt's positions on global issues are not derived from alleged leaks from an anonymous source".

US Vice President Mike Pence will visit Egypt, Jordan and Israel from January 20 to 23, the White House said on Monday, embarking on a tour originally planned for last month after President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. "Hamas would be reborn once more", Kholi said, according to the paper.

The Times said Megahed confirmed that the conversation occurred.

"I was just calling to tell you what our public stance is, so if you go on TV or speak in an interview, I am telling you what is the stance of Egypt's national security apparatus and what it stands to benefit from in this matter of announcing Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel, okay?"

"The Times 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.

The status of Jerusalem, which is home to Muslim, Jewish and Christian holy sites, is one of the thorniest obstacles to a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians, who were furious over Trump's move and have declined to meet with Pence.

The White House announced Monday that Pence will travel to the region January 19-23, starting with a meeting in Cairo with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi.

Israeli leaders have long said Jerusalem has been quietly cultivating its ties with Arab states, in the face of commons threats posed by Iran and Islamist extremism. On Saturday its foreign minister, Sameh Shukri, participated in an Arab meeting to underscore support for east Jerusalem being the Palestinian capital. The global community does not recognize Israeli sovereignty over the full city.

Other reports by Insurance News

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