MP Tawfik Okasha (right) hosts Israeli ambassador Haim Koren.
(photo credit: EGYPTIAN MEDIA)
Egyptian Member of Parliament, Tawfik Okasha, hosted Israeli ambassador to Cairo, Haim Koren, for a dinner at his house Wednesday evening, Egyptian media reported on Thursday.
The meeting came a week after Okasha publicly announced on his TV show that he had invited the Israeli ambassador to a dinner at his house to discuss Israeli mediation in the Nile River dispute with Ethiopia, arousing outrageous reactions among Egyptians.
According to Egyptian media, during the meeting, the Egyptian MP and the Israeli ambassador discussed several issues such as the Nile dispute and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Okasha reportedly blasted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, emphasizing that the two state solution must be implemented in order to stop terrorism, which does not seek to be part of the government or to solve the Palestinian issue.
The Israeli embassy in Cairo reported about the meeting in a post published on its official Facebook page Thursday. The post read: "Yesterday, ambassador Mr. Haim Koren met with Dr. Tawfik Okasha. The meeting lasted more than three hours and included a dinner. It was a very good meeting, and the two parties agreed to continue meeting and collaborating in the future."
The meeting deeply enraged many Egyptian MPs who claimed that Okasha infringed on the declared policy of the Egyptian parliament which opposes normalization with Israel. Two MPs submitted a request to Parliament Speaker Ali Abdel-Al to cancel Okasha's membership in parliament.
One MP who submitted such a request, Ihab Ghotata, told Egyptian media that he demands the parliament vote no confidence against Okasha since he has lost Egyptians' trust and especially the trust of his voters.
Another MP, Mustafa Bakri, demanded the parliament issue an urgent statement regarding Okasha's hosting of the Israeli ambassador, claiming his act manifests disrespect for the blood of Egyptian and Arab martyrs.
A survey conducted following the meeting by the Egyptian news site Barlamani revealed that 90% of Egyptians were opposed to the meeting between Okasha and Koren.