Published: Wed, January 10, 2018
World | By Melba Underwood

How Egypt backs Donald Trump's decision on Jerusalem

How Egypt backs Donald Trump's decision on Jerusalem

Richard PencePence allies anxious he'll be called to answer questions from Mueller: report Trump thought it was "low class" for Pence to bring pets to VP residence: report Pence told RNC he could replace Trump on ticket after "Access Hollywood" tape came out: report MORE will leave Washington one week from Friday for a four-day Middle East tour that will take him to Egypt, Israel and Jordan, his office announced Monday.

A Turkey-based TV station has released audio recordings it said were of an Egyptian intelligence officer asking influential hosts in Egypt to persuade their viewers to accept a United States decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

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.

US Vice President Mike Pence will visit the Mideast from January 20 to 23, the White House said on Monday.

The statement also said that Pence would discuss the need to "assist persecuted religious minorities" during his trip.

The final 2 days will be spent in Israel, where Pence will meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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In these calls, al-Kholi told them to convince their audiences that Palestinians should be happy with the West Bank city of Ramallah as its capital rather than East Jerusalem, however Egypt denies the man even exists.

Pence's trip to the Middle East will insert him into a debate over the role of the any future peace process between Israel and the Palestinians and follows Trump's apparent threats to cut off hundreds of millions of dollars in USA aid to the Palestinian Authority.

The global community does not recognise Israeli sovereignty over the full city. The White House decision on Jerusalem also prompted leading Muslim and Christian clerics in Egypt to refuse to meet with the vice-president in Cairo.

The city's status is among the most contentious issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: Israel claims all of Jerusalem as its united capital, while the Palestinians see the eastern sector as the capital of their future state. He reportedly backed out of a planned interview with the Times.

However, in the recordings released by Mekameleen, el-Kholi can be heard telling one of the hosts that he was calling to lay out "the stance of Egypt's national security apparatus and what it stands to benefit from in this matter of announcing Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel". "Concessions are a must and if we reach a concession whereby Jerusalem will be - Ramallah will be the capital of Palestine, to end the war and so no one else dies, then we would go for it".

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