Egyptian diplomats told the country’s Al Ahram newspaper that Israel was crucial in winning U.S. support for the new regime in Cairo, which was created following the military’s 2013 ouster of thecountry’s democratically elected president from the Muslim Brotherhood.
The U.S. had been critical of the government of President Abdel Fatah el-Sisi over its violent crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters, withholding fighter jets, helicopters, and military aid.
Israel was supportive of Egypt’s military leaders taking the reins from the Muslim Brotherhood, a movement categorically hostile to Israel and Jews that spawned the Gaza-ruling Hamas.
And Israel’s support was “‘crucial’ and ‘huge’ in converting the position of the White House from one of being clearly unfavorable towards the new regime in Cairo, to being a lot more engaging,” according to the Egyptian diplomats.
Their comments came as Secretary of State John Kerry visited Cairo over the weekend for the first comprehensive strategic dialogue between the U.S. and Egypt since 2009. The U.S. resumed military aid to Egypt earlier this year.