An Egyptian official said on Wednesday that President Mohammed Morsi had indeed sent a letter to Israeli President Shimon Peres and that it was not appropriate that Morsi’s spokesman denied the letter had been sent.
Morsi’s letter, which came in response to a letter Peres sent to Morsi, thanked the Israeli president for his Ramadan greetings.
“I take this opportunity to reiterate that I am looking forward to exerting our best efforts to getting the Middle East Peace Process back to its right track in order to achieve security and stability for peoples of the region, including the Israeli people,” Morsi added.
Egypt, however, denied that the letter had been sent. Dr. Yasser Ali, Morsi’s official spokesman, described reports of the letter in the Israeli media as completely incorrect and stressed that Morsi did not send any letter to Peres.
A senior Egyptian official suggested otherwise, telling the Egyptian daily Al Youm El Sabea that “the letter was indeed sent to Israeli President Shimon Peres through diplomatic channels, and it was not appropriate for the Egyptian president to deny it.”
The official, who was not named, added, “The letter was sent according to protocol in response to a letter that was received, which is what happens with all other letters. The presidential department of ceremonies responded to the letter and sent it to the Egyptian Embassy in Tel Aviv, which then sent it to Peres’ office.”
Senior political officials in Israel said on Tuesday night that Egypt's denial that had been expected.
“The denial was expected in light of the tremendous public echo the letter has received in both Israel and Egypt, and there is no reason to be excited by it,” the officials said.