Suleiman has long been Israel's preferred choice to replace Mubarak as President: Wikileaks

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Cairo, Feb 8 (ANI): The latest releases of secret US diplomatic cables by Wikileaks have claimed that Egypt's new Vice President, Omar Suleiman, has long been Israel's preferred candidate to replace President Hosni Mubarak, and spoke daily to the Tel Aviv government via a secret "hotline" to Cairo.

Suleiman, who may likely take over from Mubarak as president after his resignation, was named as Israel's preferred candidate for the job after discussions with American officials in 2008, The Telehraph reports.

Suleiman, who is working towards establishing peace in the Middle East, had reportedly suggested once that Israeli troops should invade Egypt to stop weapons being smuggled to Hamas in the Gaza strip.

Leaked cables from American embassies in Cairo and Tel Aviv disclose the close co-operation between Suleiman with the US and Israeli governments, and their immense interest about the likely successor of Mubarak. They also claimed that Suleiman, who was head of the foreign intelligence service, became an important figure in the Egyptian government who was constantly in touch with Jerusalem by 2008.

David Hacham, a senior adviser from the Israeli Ministry of Defence, had reportedly told the American embassy in Tel Aviv that a delegation led by Israel's defence minister, Ehud Barak was impressed with Suleiman.

"Hacham was full of praise for Soliman, however, and noted that a 'hot line' set up between the MOD and Egyptian General Intelligence Service is now in daily use. Hacham noted that the Israelis believe Soliman is likely to serve as at least an interim President if Mubarak dies or is incapacitated," the cable dated August 2008, said.

"We defer to Embassy Cairo for analysis of Egyptian succession scenarios, but there is no question that Israel is most comfortable with the prospect of Omar Soliman," the cable quoted diplomats, as saying.

The revelations have come after Suleiman began talks with opposition groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, on the future of Egypt's new government.

US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, had rendered her support to Suleiman on aturday to lead the "transition" to democracy almost two weeks after protestors demanded Mubarak's resignation.

British Prime Minister David Cameron also spoke to Suleiman yesterday, urging him to take "bold and credible steps" to show the world that Egypt is taking urgent steps towards the transition.(ANI)

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