Egypt on Tuesday strongly denied that President Hosni Mubarak told a top US general before the US-led war against Iraq in March 2003 that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.
General Tommy Franks, former commander of US Central Command, was reported as saying in an intervew that Mubarak was among Arab leaders who had told him the Iraqi leader had such weapons.
"This allegation is absolutely devoid of any truth," the Cairo-based al-Ahram daily on Tuesday quoted Egyptian presidential spokesman, Maged Abdul Fatah, as saying.
Franks reportedly made the comment to the US magazine, Parade, which appeared on Sunday.
In the interview, Franks said that the biggest surprise for him was that they found no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the "reason we went to war."
He added that multiple Middle Eastern leaders, including Jordan's King Abdullah and Egypt's Hosni Mubarak, told him that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.
According to an extract from the Parade interview, Mubarak in January 2003, conveyed to Franks, "Saddam has WMD -- biologicals, actually -- and he will use them on your troops."
Abbul Fatah, however, dismissed this claim. According to him, during a meeting with the Egyptian leader, Franks asked Mubarak's assessment of reports about the existence of WMDs in Iraq, especially biological weapons, and if Mubarak thought Iraq would use them against American troops in the event of a military invasion.
"Mubarak's response was clear: Egypt is following all that is being said about this issue, but it cannot confirm that Iraq possess WMDs and it does not have any information about the possibility of Iraq using these weapons, if they exist, against US forces," Abdul Fatah quoted Mubarak as telling Franks. (albawaba.com)
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