Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat – Former Egyptian Armed Forces Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Sami Annan has strongly denied reports that he had fled the country for Abu Dhabi. Speaking exclusively to Asharq Al-Awsat, the senior Egyptian military figure, who was ordered to retire by Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi and appointed as a presidential adviser earlier this year, asserted that he continues to carry out his duties as a presidential adviser and that he is still working in service to Egypt and national stability.
He also confirmed that Egypt is progressing and making achievements in different fields, stressing the importance of working hard and increased production to achieve better results that will reflect on Egyptian society as a whole. He called on the Egyptian people not to listen to rumors that only serve to fuel crisis and division within Egyptian society.
Cairo airport authorities denied that Lieutenant General Anan had left the country, stressing that he had not submitted any travel documents in this regard. This came after a number of Arab news agencies reported that the former Egyptian military no. 2 had left Egypt, travelling to the United Arab Emirates.
The airport authorities also asserted that Sami Annan is not banned from travel, and that there is nothing stopping the former Egyptian military commander from legally leaving the country.
The Cairo airport authorities stressed that the passports of everybody travelling through the Cairo airport are inspected by the Egyptian Department of Passports, Emigration and National Administration and that nobody bearing the name “Sami Anan” had passed through the Egyptian airport during this period.
The Egyptian Hayat TV station initially broadcast the report that General Sami Anan had left Cairo to Abu Dhabi, but soon retracted the claim.
Motaz Salah al-Din, a media adviser to Hayat TV, issued a statement revealing that the Hayat TV management had issued an immediate decision to suspend those responsible for broadcasting this “incorrect” news.
He revealed that this news was attributed to an internet news website, adding that Hayat TV was carrying out an investigation into the incident.
For his part, former Egyptian MP Mustafa Bakri told Asharq Al-Awsat that he had contacted Lieutenant General Anan at 10am local time to ask him about the veracity of the news report. He said “General Anan denied this news and expressed his astonishment, confirming that he remains at his residence [in Cairo] along with his family and that he is not intending to leave the country under any circumstances.”
Bakri, who is also an Egyptian writer, quoted Anan as saying that he did not intend to leave Egypt under any circumstances as he had not committed any crimes, but that he had supported the 25 January popular revolution and managed the transition period successfully.
The former Egyptian MP revealed that Anan had questioned the extent of the rumors that surround him and his family, adding that he had been educated at the Egyptian National Military Academy which taught him not to run from any confrontation, whatever the reason. He also asserted that Anan had complained about the media’s depiction of him, saying this had harmed his reputation.
As for Anan’s position towards the accusations that have been made against him, Bakri told Asharq Al-Awsat “he [Anan] was very clear, he is not afraid of anything and he leaves this for the judiciary to deal with” adding “he expressed his confidence in the [Egyptian] judiciary and his own innocence.”