After BBC reports emerged indicating that Egypt’s former President Hosni Mubarak allowed the resettlement of Palestinians in Egypt in response to US requests in the 1980s, Mubarak released a statement on Wednesday denying the claims.
In a statement issued to local media, Mubarak denied the reports and affirmed his rejection to the resettlement of Palestinians, particularly those coming from Lebanon to Egypt.
“During the Israeli aggression against Beirut, the events were headed to inflame in the Middle East, and that was months following Egypt’s regaining of Sinai on April 1982, with the arrival of the Israeli forces to Beirut, the Egyptian ambassador to Israel was recalled and I worked to save the besieged Palestinians in Lebanon,” the statement read.
The statement also added that Palestine’s former president, Yasser Arafat, who met with Mubarak while he was in exile en route to Yemen. Mubarak states he assured him that Egypt stands side-by-side with Palestine in its fight to acquire its legitimate rights.
He further emphasized that he firmly rejects all initiatives and proposals pertaining the suggestion of resettling Palestinians in Egypt.
The BBC recently produced documents in a report in which it alleges that Mubarak stated that he would agree to US demands to resettle Palestinians in Egypt, as part of a framework to settle the Arab-Israeli conflict.
That information was disclosed during a meeting between Mubarak and the British Prime Minister at the time, Margaret Thatcher, where Mubarak discussed the suggestion after a previous meeting with the US president at the time, Ronald Reagan, in February 1983, according to the unearthed documents.
Mubarak, however, claimed the details provided by the BBC documents were untrue, and said that Palestinians in Lebanon at the time of interest were not resettled in Egypt. Mubarak underlined that he rejected a suggestion from Israel in 2010 to resettle Palestinians in Sinai.