Egypt’s State Information Service refuted the New York Times’ report by David Kirkpatrick which claimed that tapes he acquired reveal Egypt’s tacit acceptance of Donald Trump’s Jerusalem move.
The NYT report said an Egyptian intelligence officer named Ashraf al-Kholi contacted hosts of “influential talk shows” in the country to tell them that instead of denouncing the move, they should convince viewers to accept it.
SIS said the report named four figures as presenters of “influential talk shows” who are Mofid Fawzy, Saeed Hassaseen, Yousra and Azmi Megahed.
“Fawzy has not hosted any television shows for years while Hassaseen stopped hosting his show weeks before Jerusalem’s developments and he’s currently not hosting any shows,” SIS said in a statement, adding that Hassaseen denied that anyone contacted him regarding Jerusalem and confirmed that he does not know anyone named Ashraf al-Kholi.
“David Kirkpatrick stayed for a long time in Egypt in the past and he should know by now that Yousra is one of the most famous actresses in Egypt and the Arab world and has nothing to do with any television programs,” it also said.
In a phone call with SIS, Yousra said she does not know anyone named Ashraf al-Kholi and never discussed Jerusalem with anyone. She also said that she has not made any statements about politics to the media and was not even in Egypt when developments regarding Jerusalem happened.
Actress Yousra to take legal action
Yousra added that she will resort to the judiciary for involving her in these alleged leaks which harm her reputation as a renowned actress.
As for Megahed, he also denied knowing anyone called Ashraf al-Kholi.
SIS noted that the NYT said Kholi is an intelligence officer but failed to provide any evidence that he is one. It added that Egypt’s stance on international affairs must not be concluded via alleged leaks of an unknown figure as they are voiced by the president, minister of foreign affairs and other officials.
It added that all the entities concerned have announced their clear position on Jerusalem and acted upon it at the UN and other international organizations, despite threats by the US representative at the UN to cut aid to Egypt.
The statement added that it was inappropriate for a prominent newspaper like the NYT to publish such a report with such allegations.