Mubarak. Outraged
Photo: Egyptian President's Office
Livni. 'Stepped out of line'
Photo: AFP

Mubarak: Livni has crossed the line with me

In exclusive interview to Yedioth Ahronoth, Egyptian president slams Israeli foreign minister for her recent remarks on Egypt's performance with regards to arms smuggling into Gaza. 'This clouds the atmosphere, do not ruin relations with us,' he says

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak harshly criticized Wednesday Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni's recent admonition of Egypt for failing to prevent the smuggling of arms across its border into Gaza.


"It's very easy to sit in an office and criticize our performance on the ground," Mubarak said in an exclusive interview to Yedioth Ahronoth.


The president stated that by opting to publicly pass judgment on the situation along the border, instead of "picking up the phone or conveying a message to Egypt," Livni "has crossed the line with me."


"This works to dampen the atmosphere. The relations with Israel are very important to me, do not ruin them," Mubarak warned. "If you disapprove of the way we handle arms smuggling, you're welcome to do the job yourselves."


The president also stressed that the large quantities of weapons transferred into the Gaza Strip do not originate in Egypt, and that they are shipped through the sea.


In a meeting between Mubarak and Defense Minister Ehud Barak in Sharm el-Sheikh Wednesday, the Israeli minister tried to cool tensions with Egypt over the incident, and reassured his hosts that Livni was well aware of the importance relations between the two neighbors.


Earlier Wednesday, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit accused the Israeli lobby of aggravating its relations with the United States by using the issue of smuggling across the Gaza border as an excuse to cut Washington's military aid to Cairo.


"The latest months have seen the Israeli lobby's efforts to harm Egypt's interests with the Congress," Aboul Gheit told reporters, adding that since Hamas took control of Gaza in June, Israel has been trying to pressure Egypt.


פרסום ראשון: 12.27.07, 08:09
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