'V-P Suleiman had close ties with Israel'

Suleiman had good ties with Israel’s military and the Jewish state would have been happy to see him take over the country, US diplomatic cables passed on to the Daily Telegraph said.

The newspaper reported on Tuesday that leaked cables from American embassies in Cairo and Tel Aviv disclosed the close co-operation between Suleiman, the US and Israeli governments as well as diplomats’ intense interest in likely successors to the 83-year-old President Mubarak.

The documents reportedly highlight the delicate position which the Egyptian government seeks to maintain in West Asia politics, as a leading Arab nation with a strong relationship with the United States and Israel.

By 2008, Suleiman, who was head of the foreign intelligence service, had become Israel’s main point of contact in the Egyptian government.

David Hacham, a senior adviser from the Israeli Ministry of Defence, told the American embassy in Tel Aviv that a delegation led by Israel’s defence minister Ehud Barak had been impressed by Suleiman, whose name is spelled “Soliman” in some cables, the report said.
But, the report added, Hacham was “shocked” by President Mubarak’s “aged appearance and slurred speech”.

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