Tuesday, February 08, 2011

WikiLeaks: Israel long viewed Egypt VP as preferred Mubarak successor


 2008 diplomatic cable published by the Daily Telegraph quotes Israeli official as saying that Israel was ‘most comfortable’ with prospect of Omar Suleiman becoming Egypt’s next leader.

Haaretz, Feb 11, 2011

By The Associated Press

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 suggested.

Peres and Omar Suleiman in Tel Aviv AP November 4, 2010 President Shimon Peres shaking hands with Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman during their meeting in Tel Aviv on November 4, 2010.


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.

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