When Egypt’s new president Mohammed Morsi denied through a spokesman that he gave an interview published by Iran’s Fars News Agency, I was willing to take his word for it.
After all, Fars is not exactly known for its scrupulous accuracy.
But now I’m not so sure, after Morsi’s spokesman denied that he sent a relatively friendly and conciliatory message to Israeli president Shimon Peres.
“Everything that was reported in the Israeli media regarding the letter does not correspond to reality,” said Yasser Ali in a statement.
The denial by the Egyptian president’s spokesman is especially odd in light of the fact that diplomats in the Egyptian embassy in Tel Aviv were the ones who passed on the missive, which was printed on the official letterhead of the ambassador along with the embassy’s stamps.
Moreover, senior Egyptian officials in Cairo notified the Israeli embassy in Cairo about the missive.
The letter, which was written in English and dated July 15, came as a response to a message sent by Peres a month ago, in which the president congratulated Morsi for his victory in the elections, and offered his blessing ahead of the month of Ramadan.
In response, Morsi thanked Peres on his “congratulations on the advent of the Holy Month of Ramadan.”
“I am looking forward to exerting our best efforts to get the Middle East peace process back to its right track in order to achieve security and stability for all peoples of the region, including [the] Israeli people,” Morsi said in the missive.
As you may recall, Morsi has also denied the existence of child abuse, separated couples, cohabitation and sex with beatings in Egypt.