There are indications that Egypt might be secretly backing U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

This followed a leak of an audio clips of phone conversations where influential Egyptians were being convinced to support Trump’s idea.

While the Arab world publicly decried Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, new evidence suggests a contrary private opinion in Egypt.

Following Trump’s move last month, Capt. Ashraf al-Kholi, an Egyptian intelligence officer, phoned several talk show hosts in the country, in a bid to persuade them to back Trump’s plan.

Talk shows are highly influential in Egypt.

Kholi said conflict with Israel was not in Egypt’s best interest, and that Palestinians should recognise Ramallah, a West Bank town that houses the Palestinian Authority, as their capital.

Several talk show hosts privately agreed with his views, as audio recordings of their phone conversations obtained by the New York Times reveal.

The television hosts were reportedly in agreement with Kholi, that focusing on Egypt’s national security was a higher priority.

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