President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt has told US broadcaster, CBS, that there are no political prisoners in his country, where local and international human rights activists and groups insist the president is presiding over a regime that forbids political dissent.
In excerpts of the CBS interview which Egyptian authorities now request the broadcaster not to air, the president also revealed that his country and Israel are in a harmonious corporation to defeat armed terrorists in the Sinnai Peninsula. This is contrary to Egypt’s military denial of media reports last year that it is in military cooperation with Israel against armed terrorists led by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group operating in the Sinai region.
From the excerpts, asked if Egypt’s cooperation with Israel was the closest ever between the two countries, el-Sisi said: “That is correct… We have a wide range of cooperation with the Israelis.”
The interview is due to air in full today (Sunday) on CBS’ show 60 Minutes, as the broadcaster has rejected the request by the Egyptian government not to show it. It is not exactly clear why the government requested that the interview should not be aired. Egypt has a 1979 peace treaty with Israel.