U.S. has doubts about Egypt's Gaza role

Nov. 18, 2012 at 5:14 PM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- A member of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee said Sunday Egypt is a wild card in the effort to defuse clashes in Gaza.

Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md., said on CNN's "State of the Union" the new Egyptian government could not be counted on to be the stabilizing force in the region it was under former President Hosni Mubarak.

"We've got people who have traditionally been our allies in trying to maintain the peace in Turkey, in Tunisia, in Egypt who are now encouraging the things that clearly will not keep the peace if Hamas is allowed to continue to do what Israel frankly can't allow it to do," Ruppersberger said.

Ruppersberger said his worries about Egypt were reinforced by Israeli's contention the missiles fired out of Gaza were being supplied by Iran, which implied a "tacit" role by Egypt in allowing them to be smuggled in.

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., said he saw Turkey stepping into a more prominent role in the Gaza crisis.

"They've become very powerful," said Blunt, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee. "They have a lot more influence in the Arab area. I think (Prime Minister Recep) Erdogan is going to be a key player if there's going to be any calming down of the hostility as it relates to Hamas."

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