The Egyptian response to the plan announced by US President Donald Trump to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli
conflict, known as the “deal of the century,” has triggered the anger of many Egyptians. Egypt’s response implied
support for the plan, in contradiction to official Egyptian principles that assert supporting the establishment of a
Palestinian state on the borders of pre-1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital.
The Egyptian appraisal of Trump’s plan, that was declared less than an hour after the plan was announced,
confirms that Egypt was aware of the details of the “deal of the century” and may have even participated in its
preparation, which drew wide popular criticism.
What did Egypt say about the plan?
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry issued a statement commenting on the “deal of the century” less than an hour
after the US president’s announcement.
The statement said: “The Arab Republic of Egypt appreciates the continued efforts made by the American
administration to reach a comprehensive and just peace for the Palestinian cause, which will contribute to
supporting stability and security in the Middle East, and end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
In addition, Egypt sees the importance of looking at the initiative of the American administration out of the
importance of reaching a settlement to the Palestinian issue in a way that restores the Palestinian people their full
legitimate rights through the establishment of their independent sovereign state over the occupied Palestinian
territories, in accordance with international legitimacy and its decisions.
Hence, Egypt calls upon the two parties involved to carefully study the American vision of achieving peace, cover
all its dimensions, and open channels of dialogue to resume negotiations under American auspices to put forward
the vision of both the Palestinian and Israeli parties towards it. All this in order to reach an agreement that meets
the aspirations and hopes of the two peoples in achieving a comprehensive and just peace between them, and
leads to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.”
Deleted parts from the Egyptian Foreign Ministry statement
The independent website Mada Masr revealed that this is not the original statement prepared by the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs, but rather a revised version sent by the Presidency of the Republic as a substitute to the
statement of the Ministry.
An official source told Mada Masr that the draft of the Foreign Ministry statement mentioned “the Palestinian
state on the lands occupied in 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital,” but it was deleted from the latest
Likewise, another sentence that appeared in the draft, but was deleted in the presidential version, stipulated that
“Israel must realise that achieving peace in the region will not take place without guaranteeing the legitimate
rights of the Palestinian people.”
The presidential version sufficed with noting “the importance of looking at the American administration’s
initiative out of the importance of reaching a settlement to the Palestinian issue in a way that restores the
Palestinian people their full legitimate rights through the establishment of their independent sovereign state over
the occupied Palestinian territories, in accordance with international legitimacy and its decisions.”
Compared to other official statements issued by countries allied to Egypt and the United States that have strong
interests with Israel in the region, the Egyptian statement was the weakest. For example, the Jordanian Foreign
Ministry’s statement, issued at the same time, spoke of a Palestinian State “on the borders of June 4, 1967,” based
on a two-state solution “according to international law.” As well as referring to “the Palestinian issue as the most
important issue of the Arab world.”
The Jordanian statement warned “Israel against taking any one-sided steps, including the annexation of
Palestinian lands, expansion of Israeli settlements, or the harming of holy places.”
The statement of the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs – The US’ most important ally in the region – also referred
to the Arab Peace Initiative, which was put forward by Riyadh in 2002.
Instructing the media to ignore the “deal of the century”
It has long been known that the Egyptian media is run by a WhatsApp group directed by the General Intelligence
Agency. Instructions are issued through this group to the media, so that no one will deviate from the state line.
The independent Almanassa website revealed that a message sent via this WhatsApp group contained
instructions on how to cover the “Deal of the Century.”
The message received by editors-in-chief of newspapers and TV programmes was entitled, “The Media Movement
for the Peace Plan,” and it included a number of instructions including “not addressing or focusing on the
religious or national dimensions, not addressing any details related to the plan, nor the jurisprudence regarding
the plan’s violation of Egyptian and Arab principals towards the Palestinian issue, as it is necessary to wait for the
details to be announced and carefully studied.”
In more detailed points, the message addressed to the media leaders specified the focus on “the importance of
exploiting opportunities to achieve the desired interests and goals, and emphasise that the plan (“the deal of the
century”) is a vision for resolving the peace process like all previous plans which gives way to negotiations to
obtain the maximum interests, along with emphasising the historical and pivotal role of Egypt regarding the
The letter did not fail in its instructions to the media to “stress Egypt’s intention to support the Palestinians to
achieve their interests and rights, with Cairo refusing to direct any pressure on them to accept what is not
appropriate to their aspirations, and indicating that the plan is based on resolving the peace process between the
Palestinians and Israelis without involving other regional parties as part of a political solution. It also affirmed
the Egyptian role and its current efforts towards the Gaza Strip.”
The last instructions on the media coverage to media leaders came in the form of “highlighting the efforts of the
peace process and that each party has the right to interfere, especially with the increasing number of settlements.
In addition to that it was necessary to move at this stage and take advantage of any opportunity to enter into a
negotiation process, and that from this standpoint it is possible that this American plan be seen as a new hope to
revive the negotiating process again.”