Egyptian source denies producing rockets for Russia, refutes US leaked document

Ahram Online , Tuesday 11 Apr 2023

An Egyptian official source refuted late on Monday claims made by The Washington Post that Egypt planned to produce up to 40,000 rockets to be secretly shipped to Russia.

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his picture taken on November 1, 2022 shows a view of the Nile river between Egypt s capital Cairo (L) and its twin city of Giza (R). AFP

 

‚ÄčThe source quoted by Al Qahera News TV denied the claims based on a leaked US intelligence document, as "false and have no basis in truth".

On Monday evening, the Washington Post reported that a leaked US intelligence document reveals that Egypt secretly planned in February to produce and supply up to 40,000 rockets to Russia, instructing officials to keep the production and shipment secret to avoid problems with the West.

The document also mentions plans to supply Russia with artillery rounds and gunpowder.

The Washington Post said it obtained the leaked documents from a trove of images of classified files posted in February and March on Discord, a chat app popular with gamers. 

However, statements by both Egyptian and US government officials to the newspaper cast doubt on the claim.

“Egypt’s position from the beginning is based on noninvolvement in this crisis [Russia-Ukraine War] and committing to maintain equal distance with both sides, while affirming Egypt’s support to the UN charter and international law in the UN General Assembly resolutions,” Spokesperson for Egypt's Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ahmed Abu Zeid asserted in response to the accusations.

“We continue to urge both parties to cease hostilities and reach a political solution through negotiations,” he added, emphasising Egypt's balanced position.

The official Egyptian source quoted by the TV channel on Monday reiterated the same position, emphasising that Egypt follows a balanced policy with all international parties, with peace, stability and development being the main determinants of this policy.

An anonymous US government official told the Washington Post that “we [US] are not aware of any execution of that plan,” referring to the rocket export initiative.

 “We have not seen that happen,” he added.

Egypt and other Arab countries have carefully maintained a 'balanced stance' throughout the crises and continuously urged for a solution to the conflict.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi had called for an end to the conflict in November during his opening speech in the UN's 27th Climate Change Conference (COP27).

The US Justice Department has opened an investigation into the possible release of Pentagon documents that were posted on several social media sites. 

Some of the documents may have been altered or used as part of a misinformation campaign, U.S. officials said. National Security Council Spokesman John Kirby on Monday urged caution, “since we know at least in some cases that information was doctored.”

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