Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

Mubarak to Obama: I don’t take orders from you

In jailhouse interview, former Egyptian president describes growing US pressure exerted on him to leave government during time of uprising; Expresses confidence: In army we got used to suffering

After Wednesday’s publication of remarks from ousted Egyptian President Hossni Mubarak on Israel and Yitzhak Rabin, Thursday’s interview dealt with his relationship with US President Barack Obama. The Egyptian newspaper Al Watan began publishing recordings of Mubarak on Wednesday, recorded at the prison where he is imprisoned while he awaits retrial.


According to the recordings, Mubarak told of the pressure US President Barack Obama exerted on him to relinquish his power during the beginning of the revolution and his initial refusal.


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"Obama called me two or three times. Frankly, I did not want to answer his calls," Mubarak said. "Finally I answered. He asked me, 'What is your situation now?' And before I answered he quickly said, 'I think you need to give power to a group of politicians, including Mohamed Baradei.’"

מובארק ואובמה בזמנים טובים יותר ב-2010 (צילום: רויטרס)

Better days: Mubarak, Obama in 2010 (Photo: Reuters)


Mubarak had no choice and claims he replied, "'Listen Obama, I understand the Egyptian people more than you, as you understand the American people more than me. I do not take orders from you, and not from anyone, as far as the people of Egypt are concerned. I get my instructions from the people in Egypt alone. If people do not want me, then I will leave immediately. My job is to warn the Egyptian people of the situation in which they find themselves.’ Thus ended the conversation.”

הפגנה נד מובארק בקהיר. "פרשתי כדי להציל חיים" (צילום: רויטרס)

Anti-Mubarak protest, Cairo (Photo: Reuters)


Mubarak criticized the country's current ruling party, the Muslim Brotherhood movement, saying that the group "has a problem with the modern age" and is not able to maintain the pluralism which exists in Egypt or handle the economy.

מורסי בביקור בגרמניה. "הוא מטייל" (צילום: Gettyimages)

'Globetrotter' Morsi in Germany (Photo: Gettyimages)


The last time that the newspaper published an interview with Mubarak, its very existence was denied by his associates, at the head of which was attorney Farid El-Dib.


‘Rabin choose the path of peace’

In excerpts released yesterday, Mubarak also slammed the US and referred to Israel. "The only thing that interests the US is primarily to ensure the security of Israel. They always tried to pressure the Arabs with the same goal in mind," he said.

הפגנה נגד מורסי בקהיר. "הם בחרו בו" (צילום: רויטרס)

Anti-Morsi protests in Egypt (Photo: Reuters)


"During my incumbency, I only visited Israel once, to pay my condolences upon the death of Rabin. That man chose the path of the peace process and gave us the Gaza Strip in complete form. This is why the Israelis killed him. When I went to pay my respects, they told me to stay. I refused and returned immediately to Cairo," Mubarak said. 


Mubarak said he refused the request of the Americans to establish a military base in his country and to control the FM frequency in Cairo.


When asked about current events in Egypt – public anger, protests against Morsi, security anarchy and economic crisis – Mubarak answered curtly, "I'm angry." When asked to comment on Morsi's actions and his international visits, Mubarak said, “He’s globetrotting,” and regarding complaints of the country’s citizens against the current governing body, “They are the ones who elected them.”


The former president stated his opposition to the description of “deposed president,” saying that it was his decision to retire in order to "save the lives of people and avoid bloodshed.”


Mubarak said he is in good condition and will continue the fight. "They want to mock me, they transfer me from hospital, to prison, to court, they think they humiliate me, but in my life, I saw a lot more than that. I fought, and when we were in the army, we labored greatly, and in our life we became accustomed to suffering. Now I live simply and I am not afraid."



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פרסום ראשון: 06.20.13, 18:01
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