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Egypt: Mubarak’s "terminal" cancer sparks fears
An insistent rumour over President Hosni Mubarak’s health has been assessed by Western intelligence sources. Israel and its American ally may be losing sleep over the threat of a Muslim Brotherhood rise in case the 82 year old Egyptian President dies prematurely.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is “terminally ill”, The Washington Post reported on Sunday. Some Western intelligence agencies are believed to have transmitted some information about an alleged terminal stomach and pancreas cancer affecting the president to the newspaper

According to Allafrica.com, observers claim that Mubarak is preparing his succession after 29 years at the helm of Egyptian affairs. His son Gamal Mubarak could well become the country’s new ruler, either through the northern African country’s 2011 elections or when his father hands over power to him after the next elections.

However, the Washington Times, citing a Central European intelligence source, suggests that "the Egyptian president will be dead within a year, and before Cairo’s scheduled presidential elections in September 2011". And experts believe that North Africa and Middle-East diplomatic stability could be compromised if the news were to be confirmed.

If the Egyptian president were to die soon, the Islamist political organization, Muslim Brotherhood could win the September 2011 general elections. A possibility that could prove itself as a threat to Israel’s security, observers have argued. The US and Israel are therefore paying much attention to the possible successor to the 82 year old Hosni Mubarak, known for his role as moderator in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Sunday, President Mubarak successively received Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas and US Special Envoy George J. Mitchell. The meetings had been postponed several times, officially for agenda reasons. The Egyptian government’s spokesman had denied allegations over Mubarak’s health concerns on Wednesday.


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