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News leaks allege government’s ‘dissatisfaction’ with Gulf countries - Daily News Egypt

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News leaks allege government’s ‘dissatisfaction’ with Gulf countries

Despite publically strong ties with GCC, speakers in the leaks argue relations should be based on self-interest

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (L) receiving congratulations from Saudi Crown Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz when Sisi was sworn in as Egypt's president (AFP FILE PHOTO /EGYPTIAN PRESIDENCY)
A handout picture made available on June 8, 2014 by the Egyptian presidency shows President elect Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (L) receiving congratulations from Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz (C) and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahayan (R) following his assumption of power in Cairo. 

New leaks allegedly reveal that top government officials are dissatisfied with financial support from the main GCC countries.

The leak, aired by pro-Morsi satellite channel Mekamelin Saturday night, allegedly features then-field marshal Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi speaking to his former head of office Abbas Kamel and Egyptian Armed Forces Chief of Staff Mahmoud Hegazy.

Helmy can be heard telling the other two that relations between Egypt and other countries should be based on personal interests.

“We should forget the ideas of nationalism and Arab Nationalism,” he allegedly said.

Helmy also allegedly claimed that Egypt is a “hungry country with worsening conditions”, while other GCC countries are well off. He allegedly described Gulf counties as “not real states”.

Hegazy added that in those countries, the budgets of certain individuals are bigger than the budgets of whole countries. “Each Emir has hundreds of billions,” he added.

Another recording in the same leak purportedly features a dialogue between Al-Sisi and Helmy, where the former says: “We need ten…to be put in the Army’s account.” It not clear what quantity or currency the speakers are referring to.

Al-Sisi can also be heard saying that the government needs “ten from the UAE” and “another ten from Kuwait”, while suggesting the abundance of money in these countries.

The final part of the leaks allegedly featured a call from Helmy to Fahd Al-Askar, media advisor to late Saudi King Abdullah. Helmy can be heard telling Al-Askar that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) is meeting and will issue a decree announcing that then-Field Marshal Al-Sisi will run for presidency.

Helmy purportedly asserted that the Saudi side will know about the decree before it is announced publically to the world.

In March 2014, Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi resigned from his position as head of Egypt’s armed forces and defence minister, to embark on a presidential campaign.

Since the military-backed ouster of former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the UAE have been vocal supporters of the Egyptian regime, also providing financial aid.

The originality of the leaks is debatable, with pro-army and government supporters arguing that they are fabricated and made up by the Muslim Brotherhood.

Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb said in a Saturday night phone interview with private channel Al-Hayah that Egyptians will not believe “what is being repeated on the Muslim Brotherhood channels, including leaks or anti-government statements”.

He added that the Brotherhood’s statements prove their involvement with “terrorist entities”, and are ineffective. He added that the government and the foreign ministry coordinate with the countries from which these channels are broadcasted to stop their airing.

In December 2014, Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat referred the investigation of the alleged SCAF leaks in the ongoing trial of former president Mohamed Morsi to the military prosecutor. Barakat cited that they fall under the jurisdiction of the military judiciary, state media reported.

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