Egypt MP: Lieberman Not Welcome in Cairo Unless He Apologizes

Lieberman outraged Egyptians when he criticized Mubarak, telling the Knesset he could 'go to hell.'

A leading Egyptian parliamentarian on Friday said that unless Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman issues an apology for his comments about Egypt and its president, he will not be welcome in Cairo, Israel Radio reported.

Mohamed Bassyouni, the former Egyptian ambassador to Israel and current head of the committee for Arab affairs in the Shura Council, made his comments in the Egyptian newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm.

Bassyouni, however, added that Egypt would be willing to consider unofficial channels for discussion.

The possibility of Lieberman making an official visit to Cairo has been the subject of speculation in recent days. On Thursday, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said he would not accompany Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on an upcoming visit to Egypt.

Mubarak's comments came a day after Lieberman met in Jerusalem with Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman, who reportedly invited him for an official visit.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit also said last week that Lieberman is not welcome in Egypt.

"His feet will not step on Egyptian soil as long as he maintains his positions," Aboul Gheit told Russia Today TV.

Lieberman sparked outrage in Egypt last year when he criticized its president, Hosni Mubarak, in a speech before the Knesset, for his refusal to make an official state visit to Israel. During his speech, Lieberman said the Egyptian leader could "go to hell."