Egypt denies calling Israel an 'enemy state'
Israeli envoy to Cairo protested Egypt FM's statement in which he reportedly dubbed Israel 'the enemy.'
Israel's ambassador to Cairo, Yitzhak Levanon, protested on Monday the statement of Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit in which he called Israel an "enemy state."
Levanon filed an official complaint to the Egyptian Foreign Ministry on Monday following the reports, and emphasized that Israel strongly condemns Aboul Gheit's statement.
Over the last few days, Arab media has reported that Aboul Gheit was asked during a visit to Beirut if he had any messages to relay from Israel regarding reports that Syria transferred Scud missiles to Hezbollah. The Egyptian Minister reportedly answered that his country does not relay messages from "the enemy."
The director of the Egyptian Foreign Ministry stressed that Aboul Gheit was misunderstood, and that he meant to say that he could not relay messages from Israel to Lebanon because Lebanon sees Israel as an enemy state.
This week, Aboul Gheit met with his French and Spanish counterparts in Luxemborg to discuss concern over a possible Israeli attack on Lebanon in the wake of reports on the Scud transfer.
The three ministers agreed that Israel must be stopped from opening a new war with Lebanon, diplomats told the Lebanese A-Nahar daily. According to the sources, the ministers also discussed ways to guard Lebanon in case Israel or any other country decided to attack Iran's nuclear facilities.
Aboul Gheit's initiative in Lebanon comes days after his visit to Beirut over the weekend, where dismissed as "laughable lies" allegations that Syria transferred Scuds to Hezbollah.
Lebanon's army commander Jean Kahwaji told Gheit during a weekend meeting that he was convinced there are no scud missiles in the country, as it would be possible to bring Scuds across the Lebanese border undetected.
He also said Israel could launch a war at any moment, but added that "the indications until this hour point to no war in the foreseeable future. There are no reasons that require a war and the south is completely quiet".
Meanwhile, Lebanese President Michel Suleiman said Tuesday that his country was not interested in war with Israel, but was prepared to defend itself if attacked.
Suleiman told reporters in Rio de Janeiro that Israel was sounding threats in Lebanon's direction including reports of Syria arming Hezbollah with Scud missiles - in order to divert attention from stalled peace talks.