is planning to intensify its diplomatic campaign urging Europe and the United States to support the military-backed government in Egypt, a senior Israeli official involved in the effort told the New York Times
According to the official, Israeli ambassadors in Washington, London, Paris, Berlin, Brussels and other capitals would lobby foreign ministers. At the same time, leaders here will press the case with diplomats from abroad that the military is the only hope to prevent further chaos in Cairo.
"We’re trying to talk to key actors, key countries, and share our view that you may not like what you see, but what’s the alternative?” the official explained. “If you insist on big principles, then you will miss the essential — the essential being putting Egypt
back on track at whatever cost. First, save what you can, and then deal with democracy and freedom and so on.
“At this point,” the official added, “it’s army or anarchy.”
Ruin in Cairo (Photo: EPA)
On Saturday, the New York Times quoted diplomatic sources as saying that Israel and Egyptian Defense Minister General Abdel Fatah
al-Sisi have been in close contact.
These same diplomats say that Israel assured Egypt it did not have to worry about the US threat to cut its enormous aid package to that country.
The US is in no hurry to stop its aid to Egypt, which would severely damage its relations with the Egyptian army, the report said. The Egyptians allow the Americans to move their military forces, quickly and almost without warning, over Egyptian skies and the Suez Canal, which is a necessity for its activities in the war on terror in the Horn of Africa, the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, and the area of Israel and the Gaza Strip.
On Sunday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the arms supply to Egypt may be compromised in the course of pressure on the interim leadership in Cairo to stop the violence in the country.
"Exporting arms to Egypt may be influenced by steps we may take. Soon the EU foreign ministers will meet to discuss the situation," Merkel announced in an interview for a German TV channel.
Muslim Brotherhood supporter (Photo: Reuters) Soldiers take down barrier (Photo: EPA)
Also Saturday, the European Union said it was reexamining its relations with Egypt. France and Britain called for Europe to send a strong message on the escalating crisis in Egypt, urging the EU to review its relations with Cairo.
The French presidency said in a statement that after talks by telephone, President Francois Hollande and Prime Minister David Cameron agreed "on the seriousness of the violence of recent days and on the need for a strong European message."
On Sunday, 38 Muslim Brotherhood detainees were suffocated to death by tear gas fired at them as they tried to escape trucks that drove them to a detention facility. According to reports, the detainees held a security officer hostage. Security forces rescued him and said he sustained serious injuries.
- Receive Ynetnews updates
directly to your desktop