Obeid retreats “$100 billion war budget” comments
Egypt’s Prime Minister Atef Obeid said Thursday his remarks about raising money for a "confrontation budget" to wage a war against Israel had been taken out of context.
The UAE newspaper Al Ittihad published an interview Wednesday with the Egyptian prime minister in which he ruled out Egypt's declaring war on Israel over the Palestinian-Israeli clashes.
Pressed by the interviewer, the paper quoted Obeid as saying war would require a concerted effort from all Arabs.
"Make the Arab world put $100 billion of the Arab funds available around the world and say 'this is a confrontation budget ... here you go Egypt, you leader, this budget is at your disposal, go ahead and begin the confrontation,'" Obeid was quoted as saying.
Obeid did not tell the newspaper that Egypt would wage war if given sufficient funds, but he was quoted as saying if they were offered, "your calculations change."
On Thursday, Obeid told Egypt's Middle East News Agency his statement should be read as a whole and not just selected sentences.
"I am in no need to confirm that Egypt's army is not an army of mercenaries and that our will and decisions cannot be bought by money," Obeid told the news agency. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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