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Turkish TV airs Egypt intelligence tapes on Jerusalem

10 January 2018

Egypt's government on Sunday denied and harshly criticized a New York Times report that said Cairo has quietly sought to convince the Egyptian public to accept the United States recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, despite publicly opposing it. The visit will include Egypt, Jordan, and Israel, but not Palestine.

The newspaper said in a report published Saturday that it obtained audio recordings in which an Egyptian intelligence officer, speaking with influential talk show hosts, asked them to downplay the significance of US President Donald Trump's decision.

The global community does not recognise Israeli sovereignty over the full city. Farah said Pence was "looking forward to meeting with the leaders of Egypt, Jordan, and Israel to discuss ways to work together to fight terrorism and improve our national security".

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Palestinian leaders were enraged with Trump's decision and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is refusing to meet with Pence.

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

Before Trump's announcement, Abbas was scheduled to meet with Pence in the biblical town of Bethlehem. He told the hosts that instead of condemning the decision, they should persuade their viewers to accept it. Palestinians, he suggested, should content themselves with the dreary West Bank town that now houses the Palestinian Authority, Ramallah. Instead, he said, preoccupied by concerns about their own stability, the Arab leaders signalled that - while they may not like the decision - they "will find a way to work with it", and "with a White House that is prepared to break with what had been taboos in American foreign policy".

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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.

The approach has pushed back against an worldwide consensus that Jerusalem's status should be decided in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians and comes as Trump has vowed to press forward with plans to help broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

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The SIS reported that Hassaseen denied receiving a call on Jerusalem, and affirmed that he does not know anyone named Ashraf al-Kholi. "All the entities in charge have expressed in word and deed the inalienable position on Jerusalem in the U.N. and other global organizations with disregard for the threats of the cut aid to countries including Egypt over the U.N. Jerusalem vote".

Turkish TV airs Egypt intelligence tapes on Jerusalem