Kuwaiti writer lands rare interview with Mubarak

Ahram Online , Thursday 6 Feb 2014

Kuwaiti writer Fajer Al-Saeed visits Mubarak in Maadi military hospital and talks about army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi becoming president, as well as 'secrets' from the 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait

Kuwaiti writer Fajer Al Saeed  with Mubarak
Kuwaiti writer Fajer Al Saeed visits Mubarak in hospital (Photo: Al-Ahram)

After a rare interview with former president Hosni Mubarak, Kuwaiti writer Fajr Al-Saeed announced on Thursday that the toppled leader told her that the people of Egypt want El-Sisi to be the next president.

"I asked Mubarak directly who will rule Egypt in the near future and he said at first God, but then I told him that I wanted the name of the person he expected to rule Egypt and he said that the people wanted El-Sisi," Al-Saeed posted to her Twitter account.

The meeting took place earlier this week at the military hospital in the southern Cairo suburb of Maadi where Mubarak has been since August 2013.

The 85-year-old is on trial for his role in the killing of protesters during the January 2011 uprising that unseated him. He also faces charges of squandering public funds through the sale of natural gas to Israel at below-market prices. After exhausting the maximum two-year detention period last August, he was released from jail and placed in the military hospital.

In Al-Saeed's Twitter posts following the interview, she said that Mubarak was a "free man now" and could meet with whomever he wanted.

She said the "man with an iron memory" was staying up-to-date on current events in Egypt, watching TV talk shows and news programs.

Beyond recent developments in Egypt, however, most of the conversation revolved around the 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, about which Mubarak still harbours "many important secrets."

Mubarak played a major role in the Gulf war, with the Egyptian military a leading contributor to the international coalition assembled in support of Kuwait.

He told Al-Saeed that prior to the Arab League meeting to be held in Baghdad in August 1990, days before the war began, Egyptian intelligence officials intercepted a message from then-Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein announcing his plans to sabotage the summit.

Hussein also refused for Kuwait's delegation to the summit to be headed by Sheikh Sabah Al-Sabah, Kuwait's foreign minister at the time, because the Iraqi president hated him, Mubarak said.

Al-Saeed claimed that Mubarak has not received any visitors or phone calls from Gulf rulers since his deposition three years ago, in contrast with rumours that Bahrain's King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa paid him a visit in jail in November 2011.

In the interview, Mubarak seemed confident that he would be acquitted from charges of killing protesters, saying that after being released he would first make a religious pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia and then visit Kuwait.

Al-Saeed also posted photos with former first lady Susan Mubarak.

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