Published: Mon, January 07, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Egypt is cooperating with Israel against extremists

Egypt is cooperating with Israel against extremists

The network said on its website Thursday that Sisi - a former army chief and defense minister - made the remarks in a taped interview due to air for its 60 Minutes program on Sunday.

Egypt has demanded that CBS News not air an interview with Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the USA news outlet has said, in which the country's president said Cairo's military cooperation with Israel had reached unprecedented levels.

CBS said in a statement the Egyptian embassy contacted the news show "shortly after" the interview and requested that it not be aired.

The interview, which was recorded when el-Sissi was in NY to attend a meeting of the U.N. General Assembly in late September, was set to air Sunday evening.

The Gaza offices of President Mahmoud Abbas's official Palestine Television station were attacked and ransacked on Friday, adding to tensions.

Egypt and Israel are working more closely together than ever before. Egypt has been battling an insurgency in the northern Sinai Peninsula for years. Sissi also faced an uncomfortable question from Pelley over his ousting of former President Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood in a 2013 coup when almost 1,000 of the group's supporters were massacred.

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Israel and Egypt share a number of regional interests - including the containment of Iran and combating ISIS.

According to the human rights organization Human Rights Watch about 60,000 political prisoners in Egyptian prisons.

Al-Sisi since 2014 at the top of the country.

Egypt banned the Muslim Brotherhood from the country the following year under el-Sisi's rule, after he vowed to have the group wiped out. Asked if he gave the order, el-Sisi questioned Pelley's information and then said, "There were thousands of armed people in the sit-in for more than 40 days". He also dismissed a report by Human Rights Watch that said Egyptian authorities "have arrested or charged probably at least 60,000 people" since the 2013 military coup that ousted Morsi. "We tried every peaceful means to disburse them", he said, claiming more than a dozen guns were found at the protest camp. "We have a wide range of cooperation with the Israelis". The two countries fought four wars before signing a peace treaty in 1979.

When asked about Mr Sisi's interview with CBS on Friday, an Israeli military spokesperson told the BBC: "We do not comment on foreign reports". "I don't know where they got that figure".

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