Egypt's Sisi 'planned to demand' cash from Gulf states

Turkish channel airs leaked tapes in which Abdel Fattah el-Sisi allegedly says money should be placed in army account.

    Egypt's Sisi 'planned to demand' cash from Gulf states
    The recording was obtained and broadcast by Turkey-based Meka-meleem television station [File: Reuters]

    A television station in Turkey has aired what it says is a leaked conversation involving Egypt's President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi planning to demand money from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries.

    The recording, obtained and broadcast by Mekameleen, allegedly took place after President Mohamed Morsi was removed from power by the army when Sisi was defence minister.

    In the conversation, Sisi purportedly asks his office manager to get the money deposited into the Egyptian army's account.

    "When I win the election we will invest this money in the state," the man said to be Sisi says.

    "We also need another 10 from United Arab Emirates and another 10 from Kuwait. The audio does not specify exactly how much the "10" Sisi mentions represent, nor the currency.

    "We need to save a small portion of this money in the Central Bank so we get its account settled until 2014," Sisi allegedly added.

    At one point, Sisi is also heard saying that the Gulf states have money "like rice".

    The conversation also makes insulting remarks toward the Qatari Royal family and the Gulf countries, which are referred to as "half states".

    Abdul-Khaleq Abdulla, professor of political science at the United Arab Emirates University, said that the leaks were unlikely to harm relations between the Gulf states and Egypt. 

    "There are mountains of leaks we have heard from wikileaks just a few years ago, and there was so much sensation and private conversations and it is good to laugh at them, good for media," he said.

    "It doesn't really affect policies or government relationships to each other. So I don't think Gulf-Egypt relations will be impacted in anyway or any shape. But it might make a few people unhappy.

    "Gulf has a lot of interests in Egypt, which are not going to be harmed one way or the other because of these things."

    Morsi was elected in 2012, a year after the popular protests which ousted long-time president Hosni Mubarak, then overthrown by the military in the following year.

    A security crackdown on Brotherhood supporters, in which hundreds were killed in the streets and thousands arrested, has weakened the group.

    Mekameleen is often seen as supporter of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood movement, which is now outlawed in Egypt.

    In the tape, a man alleged to be Sisi is heard telling the head of his office to ask Gulf states for money. Below is a transcript of a part of the tape:

    Sisi: Listen, tell him we need 10 [from Saudi Arabia] to get deposited into the army’s account ... so what did I say?

    Sisi's office manager Abbas Kamel: 10 in the army's account ...

    Sisi: When I win the election we will invest this money in the state. We also need another 10 from United Arab Emirates and another 10 from Kuwait. We need to save small portion of this money in the Central Bank so we can get its account settled until 2014.

    [Kamel laughs]

    Sisi: Why are you laughing?

    Kamel: They will faint …

    Sisi: Their money is like rice.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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