A warm, respectful letter from Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi to Israeli President Shimon Peres has caused anger and disbelief in Egypt.
The diplomatic missive was delivered on Wednesday by Egypt’s new ambassador to Israel Atef Salem, but was dated July 19. Although it mostly followed diplomatic protocol in its use of language, some of the phrasing is particularly cordial.
Published by the Times of Israel, the letter said: “Great and good friend, being desirous of maintaining and strengthening the cordial relations which so happily exist between our two countries, I have selected Mr. Atef Mohamed Salem Sayed El Ahl to be our ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary.”
The letter closed expressing “highest esteem and consideration”.
Muslim Brotherhood leader Gamal Muhammad Heshmat told Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram that the letter was “fabricated”, adding that “Zionist media have leaked baseless statements by Morsi in the past.”
President Morsi’s spokesman has not confirmed that the letter is authentic, which some Egyptian commentators argue is significant.
Egyptian Twitter users are calling the letter a “fake”, “Photoshopped” and say “it doesn’t fit”.