February 20, 2014 at 3:33 pm
The Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has denied reports in the Israeli press of a meeting between foreign minister, Dr Nabil El Arabi, and Israel's deputy foreign minister, Danny Ayalon, during a secret visit which Ayalon made to Cairo more than two weeks ago.
An Egyptian foreign ministry spokesperson, Menha Bakhoum, stated on the ministry's website that "what was circulated in the media and cited by an Israeli newspaper about a meeting between foreign minister Dr Nabil El Arabi and Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, is totally untrue."
The ministry's website further clarified, "this alleged meeting did not take place, and even if it is true, the Egyptian foreign ministry would not find anything wrong to declare."
The Israeli newspaper Maariv had reported on Tuesday that Ayalon held a series of unannounced meetings in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, including with the head of Egypt's Supreme Council for the Armed Forces Hussein Tantawi and foreign minister Nabil El Arabi. Maariv reported that the meetings tackled a number of issues raising concerns in Tel Aviv, most importantly the possibility of revoking the bilateral peace treaty between Egypt and Israel and the repercussions that could result from such a step; the national reconciliation agreement between Palestinian factions; and the opening of the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza on a permanent basis.