Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Egypt's Duplicity Stands Exposed

By Cam McGrath

"CAIRO, Nov 30, 2010 (IPS) - More than 250,000 classified U.S. diplomatic cables released by online whistle- blower WikiLeaks include statements made behind closed doors that could prove embarrassing for Egypt’s government, say analysts.

The embassy missives lift the veil on Egypt’s advice to U.S. administration officials concerning the growing political influence of Iran, military strategy in Iraq, and Cairo’s pledge to isolate Hamas. More provocatively, they suggest Egypt’s complicity in Israel’s devastating military assault on Gaza in late 2008.

"The release of these documents has put Egypt in an uncomfortable position," says Emad Gad, political analyst at Al-Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies. "They contradict Egypt’s public stance on many issues…and damage its credibility.".....

The leaked documents nonetheless show Egypt’s commitment to isolate Hamas despite dire consequences to the Palestinian people. A leaked missive from U.S. ambassador to Egypt Margaret Scobey to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton points out that it was Egypt, not Israel, which enforced the blockade of Gaza during Operation Cast Lead.

"Even during the height of the December fighting, the Egyptians only sent medicine and medical supplies through the Rafah border; all other humanitarian goods went through the Israeli crossing at Kerem Shalom," Scobey wrote in February 2009.

Scobey advised Clinton ahead of her visit to Egypt that Mubarak regarded Hamas as a dangerous political threat, and that Cairo was sharing intelligence with Israel to prevent members of the Islamist organisation from crossing the Gaza border. She added that Egypt was well apprised of joint U.S.-Israeli efforts to combat arms smuggling in Gaza, but wanted to distance itself from the issue.

"Egypt will not take any action that could be perceived as collaboration in Israel’s siege of Gaza," Scobey wrote. "The Egyptians do not want to be stuck holding the Gaza bag, and must be able to point the finger of blame at Israel for the plight of the Palestinians."....."

No comments: