Senior Egyptian Salafist secretly met Israel FM in US: Report
A report has revealed an April meeting in the United States between Nader Bakkar, a senior Salafist from Egypt, and former Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni.
Reporting on Tuesday, The Middle East Eye said Bakkar, who was the deputy chairman of Egypt’s Salafist Nour Party, met Livni at Harvard University at the former’s request.
It cited Egyptian paper Youm7 as reporting, “Nader Bakkar’s meeting with Tzipi Livini lasted around 40 minutes, in which Bakkar talked about the strength of the Nour Party and its popularity.”
The Nour Party has been unashamedly supportive of the Egyptian government’s 2013 military coup that overthrew democratically-elected President Mohamed Morsi. It has remained committed to the coup’s leader and current President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi despite a deadly government crackdown on dissent.
The party has also been cited as an instrumental force behind the anti-government protests that preceded the putsch.
Nour Party had had its candidate, Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, disqualified in the 2012 presidential election that brought Morsi to power.
Salafism is often equated with Wahhabism, the ideology of the Takfiri terror groups that kill people from other religions, accusing them of being “infidels.”
Israel has been supportive of the Takfiri terrorists fighting the Syrian government. In December 2015, Britain’s Daily Mail said Israel has saved the lives of over 2,000 Takfiri militants at the cost of about USD 13 million by treating them at its hospitals since 2013.
Relations between Egypt and the Israeli regime have been growing since Sisi took power in the Arab country in 2014.
Egypt sent an ambassador to Tel Aviv in January. Hazem Khairat was the first residing Egyptian ambassador in Tel Aviv since Morsi recalled Cairo’s previous ambassador to Israel in November 2012. The Israeli regime also opened its embassy in Cairo in September 2015 after a four-year closure.
Earlier, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry traveled to Israel and met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.