Israel seeks to drum up support for Mubarak: report

Jerusalem, Jan 31 (PTI) Israel has asked its diplomatsin the West, including the US and Europe, to drum up supportfor President Hosni Mubarak''s tottering regime, as it is in"the interest of the West" to maintain the stability in Egypt,a media report said today.

Amid statements in Western capitals suggesting thatthe US and European Union supported Mubarak''s ouster,Jerusalem seeks to convince its allies that it is in theWest''s interest to maintain the stability of the unpopularEgyptian regime, daily Haaretz reported today.

"Jerusalem seeks to convince its allies that it is inthe West''s interest to maintain the stability of the Egyptianregime. The diplomatic measures came after statements inWestern capitals implying that the United States and EuropeanUnion supported Mubarak''s ouster," the daily said.

It quoted senior Israeli officials as saying that onSaturday night the Foreign Ministry issued a directive toaround a dozen key embassies in the United States, Canada,China, Russia and several European countries to drum upsupport for the unpopular regime.

"The Americans and the Europeans are being pulledalong by public opinion and aren''t considering their genuineinterests," one senior Israeli official was quoted as saying.

"Even if they are critical of Mubarak they have tomake their friends feel that they''re not alone. Jordan andSaudi Arabia see the reactions in the West, how everyone isabandoning Mubarak, and this will have very seriousimplications," he said.

The ambassadors were asked to stress to their hostcountries the importance of Egypt''s stability. In a specialcable, they were told to get this word out as soon aspossible, it reported.

US President Barack Obama and Secretary of StateHillary Clinton have called on Mubarak to take "concretesteps" toward democratic reforms and to refrain from violenceagainst peaceful protesters, sentiments echoed in a statementSaturday night by the leaders of Britain, France and Germany.

Meanwhile, Israel today dismissed a report that it hassent two planes with riot-dispersal means to help embattledthe Egyptian President deal with the massive uprising againsthis 30-year rule.

An Egyptian journalist working for Qatari news agencyal Jazeera reported that two Israeli planes had landed inCairo with the requested armament on board.

Israel''s Nobel laureate President, Shimon Peres, inhis remarks on the uprising in Egypt said that "no matter whatthey say, we owe Mubarak true thanks for always being a rockand working for peace and stability in the Middle East", thenews portal reported.

Anti- Mubarak sentiments reached a feverish pitchtoday, as thousands of protesters converged on Tahrir orLiberation Square -- the hub of the protests in the heart ofCairo to make the call for a "million man march" tomorrow. PTI

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