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Former Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa denied receiving funds from Saudi Arabia for his election campaign, in an interview with London-based Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper Friday.
When the newspaper asked Moussa about repeated charges that he has received funding ― offering a figure somewhere between LE50 million and US$50 million ― from the Gulf kingdom to support his presidential bid, Moussa responded, “This did not happen and will never happen.”
“I call on those who say and write such things to comply with God, because this is not true,” he said. “Riyadh stands at an equal distance from all the presidential candidates and political forces in Egypt.”
Privately owned Al-Mesryoon newspaper reported last May that Saudi Arabia had allocated a US$5 million reward to Moussa for his service as Arab League secretary general. Some activists on online social networks like Facebook and Twitter consider the reward to have been support for Moussa's presidential campaign.
Saudi Arabia was one of the primary supporters of the ousted regime of former President Hosni Mubarak, with which Moussa is often accused of being affiliated. The kingdom announced its full support for Mubarak during the 25 January uprising last year that eventually brought down the regime.
News reports surfacing in April said that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were threatening to fire Egyptian laborers and withdraw their investments from Egypt if Mubarak were put on trial.
Late Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi said on Libyan state television last March that when Moussa was still Arab League secretary general, Qadhafi offered him bribes, including a car worth 42,000 euros.
Moussa denied those charges shortly thereafter. A statement issued by his office at the time said, “The car presented by Qadhafi to Moussa was officially granted to Moussa and not a personal gift. Thus it was granted to serve the interests of the Arab League.”
Moussa served as Mubarak's foreign minister from 1991 to 2001, and then as Arab League secretary general from 2001 until last May.
Young activists have repeatedly protested at Moussa's campaign rallies, beginning when he announced his intention to run for president at El Sawy Culture Wheel last March. These disturbances eventually prompted Moussa to issue a statement in May accusing “rioters” of concocting a plan to disrupt his campaign.