The Egyptian State Information Service (SIS) stated on Sunday there is no truth to a report by The New York Times that quoted an Egyptian intelligence officer as arguing that Ramallah, not Jerusalem, should be the Palestinian future capital.

The UN General Assembly ahead of the Jerusalem vote

The UN General Assembly ahead of the Jerusalem vote Photo credit: UN

Egypt on Sunday dismissed a report that an Egyptian intelligence officer had urged influential talk show hosts to support the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

According to The New York Times report from Saturday, Capt. Ashraf al-Kholi told the hosts they should persuade their viewers to support the idea that the capital of a future Palestinian state should be Ramallah rather than Jerusalem.

“How is Jerusalem different from Ramallah, really?” Capt. Kholi reportedly asked the hosts in a series of telephone calls he made to them, which were obtained by The New York Times. One of the hosts, Azmi Megahed, reportedly confirmed that the recordings were authentic.

“It is inappropriate for The New York Times, a reputable newspaper, to publish such allegations,” said an official statement by Egypt’s State Information Service (SIS). “Egypt’s positions on international issues are not derived from alleged leaks from an anonymous source.”

Additionally, the SIS said Azmi Megahed, the TV host who reportedly confirmed the authenticity of the recordings, “denies knowing a man by the name of Ashraf al-Kholi.”