Egypt threatens Israel over lobbying


Egypt threatened to retaliate for lobbying against it by pro-Israel groups in Washington.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit threatened diplomatic reprisals against Israel this week following pressure on Cairo to crack down on arms smuggling to the Gaza Strip or risk losing U.S. aid funds.

“If they continue to push and try to affect Egypt’s relationship with the U.S. and harm Egyptian interests, Egypt will certainly respond and will try to damage their interests,” the MENA news agency quoted Aboul Gheit as saying.

“We have capabilities in every direction – all in diplomatic areas but not extending beyond that – which may inflict profound damage,” he said without elaborating.

Egypt has rebuffed Israeli allegations that its border police have been turning a blind eye to some smuggling from the Sinai to Hamas-ruled Gaza. Cairo has described moves in the U.S. Congress to trim some of the $2 billion in annual aid to Egypt as the result of Israeli lobbying.

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