Egyptian Intelligence Chief Khalid Fawzi met secretly with his Syrian counterpart, National Security Bureau Chief Ali Mamlouk, in Damascus at the end of September, the New Khaliji reported on Friday. A report about the meeting published by France’s Intelligence Online website was translated by the news site.
According to the French report, the two men have met several times in the past few months. They are said to have discussed the issue of 600 Egyptian jihadists believed to be in Syria who the Egyptians believe are in touch with the jihadists in Sinai. Such contacts between the two intelligence services go back at least two years, it claimed.
The New Khaliji said that Intelligence Online had previously reported that the links have angered Saudi Arabia. It also noted that the Saudi government knew that Egypt had facilitated the delivery of a weapons shipment to ousted Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh whose forces are allied with the Houthi rebels against the Saudi-led coalition.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, alleged the New Khaliji, received Mamlouk in Cairo two years ago. The Syrian official also visited Cairo in October last year for secret meetings with Fawzi and many other Egyptian intelligence officers. Although Egypt did not announce the meeting officially, the Syrian Sana news agency did, and said that it came at Egypt’s invitation.
The meeting in Damascus preceded Fawzi’s meeting in Gaza this week with Hamas officials, which received widespread media coverage.