Egypt on Sunday denied a US media report claiming that it has given a “tacit” acceptance of President Donald Trump’s decision to officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
The New York Times said Saturday Cairo allegedly instructed talk show hosts to persuade viewers to accept the US move.
The daily claimed that an Egyptian intelligence officer had placed phone calls to the hosts of several influential talk shows that instead of condemning the US decision, they should persuade the audience to accept it.
It cited the officer’s suggestion that Palestinians should content themselves with the dreary West Bank town that currently houses the Palestinian Authority, Ramallah.
In a statement, the state-run State Information Service (SIS) said the NY Times report was a “mere allegation”.
It said people cited by the US daily were not either TV hosts or had stopped appearing on television even before Trump’s Jerusalem move.
SIS said Egypt’s position on Jerusalem “was translated in stances and measures taken at the UN and other international organizations despite US threats of aid cut.”
Egypt submitted a UN Security Council resolution demanding a reversal of Trump’s move on Jerusalem, but the resolution was vetoed by Washington.
On 21 December, the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly adopted a resolution, co-sponsored by Turkey and Yemen, rejecting Trump’s move on Jerusalem.
Jerusalem remains at the heart of the Middle East conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem — occupied by Israel since 1967 — might eventually serve as the capital of an independent Palestinian state.