Egypt's Vice President Omar Suleiman was long seen by Israel as the preferred candidate to succeed President Hosni Mubarak, secret U.S. diplomatic cables published Monday said.
According to an August 2008 cable released by WikiLeaks and published by the Daily Telegraph newspaper on its website, a senior adviser from the Israeli Ministry of Defense told U.S. diplomats in Tel Aviv that the Israelis believe Suleiman would likely serve as "at least an interim president if Mubarak dies or is incapacitated."
A U.S. diplomat who classified the cable, Luis Moreno, wrote that although he deferred to the Embassy in Cairo for Egyptian succession scenario analysis, "there is no question that Israel is most comfortable with the prospect of" Suleiman.
The cable quoted the adviser to Israel's defense ministry, David Hacham, as saying an Israeli delegation led by Defense Minister Ehud Barak was "shocked by Mubarak's aged appearance and slurred speech," when it met him in Egypt.
"Hacham was full of praise for Soliman, however," it said. Suleiman was spelled Soliman in some of the leaked cables.
Hacham added that he sometimes spoke to Suleiman's deputy several times a day via a "hotline," according to the cable.
Suleiman, Egypt's intelligence chief since 1993, has been a frequent visitor to Israel and a mediator in its conflict with the Palestinians.
The United States has thrown its support behind a transition effort launched by Suleiman, appointed by Mubarak as vice president after massive protests calling for an end to the 82-year-old Egyptian leader's 30 years of rule.
Hacham was full of praise for Soliman ... and noted that a 'hot line' set up between the MOD (Israeli Ministry of Defence) and Egyptian General Intelligence Service is now in daily use," it said.
In 1979, Egypt became the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel while it maintains its occupation of Palestinian territories.
Last Mod: 10 Şubat 2011, 13:58