LONDON: The American government secretly backed leading figures behind the Egyptian uprising who have been planning "regime change" for the past three years, the disclosures, contained in previously secret US diplomatic dispatches released by WikiLeaks.
The US Embassy in Cairo helped a young dissident attend a US-sponsored summit for activists in New York, while working to keep his identity secret from Egyptian state police.
On his return to Cairo in December 2008, the activist told US diplomats that an alliance of opposition groups had drawn up a plan to overthrow President Hosni Mubarak and install a democratic government in 2011.
In a secret diplomatic dispatch, sent on December 30 2008, the US Ambassador to Cairo, recorded that opposition groups had allegedly drawn up secret plans for "regime change" to take place before elections, scheduled for September this year.
The memo, sent to the US Secretary of State in Washington DC, was marked "confidential" and headed: "April 6 activist on his US visit and regime change in Egypt."
It said the activist claimed "several opposition forces" had "agreed to support an unwritten plan for a transition to a parliamentary democracy, involving a weakened presidency and an empowered prime minister and parliament, before the scheduled 2011 presidential elections". The embassy's source said the plan was "so sensitive it cannot be written down".
The cable said:
Summary and comment: On December 23, April 6 activist XXXXXXXXXXXX expressed satisfaction with his participation in the December 3-5 "Alliance of Youth Movements Summit," and with his subsequent meetings with USG officials, on Capitol Hill, and with think tanks. He described how State Security (SSIS) detained him at the Cairo airport upon his return and confiscated his notes for his summit presentation calling for democratic change in Egypt, and his schedule for his Congressional meetings. XXXXXXXXXXXX contended that the GOE will never undertake significant reform, and therefore, Egyptians need to replace the current regime with a parliamentary democracy. He alleged that several opposition parties and movements have accepted an unwritten plan for democratic transition by 2011; we are doubtful of this claim. XXXXXXXXXXXX said that although SSIS recently released two April 6 activists, it also arrested three additional group members.
We have pressed the MFA for the release of these April 6 activists. April 6's stated goal of replacing the current regime with a parliamentary democracy prior to the 2011 presidential elections is highly unrealistic, and is not supported by the mainstream opposition. End summary and comment.
Satisfaction with the Summit
2. (C) XXXXXXXXXXXX expressed satisfaction with the December 3-5 "Alliance of Youth Movements Summit" in New York, noting that he was able to meet activists from other countries and outline his movement's goals for democratic change in Egypt.
He told us that the other activists at the summit were very supportive, and that some even offered to hold public demonstrations in support of Egyptian democracy in their countries, with XXXXXXXXXXXX as an invited guest. XXXXXXXXXXXX said he discussed with the other activists how April 6 members could more effectively evade harass.