JERUSALEM, June 14 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Tuesday strongly dismissed charges from Cairo that an American-Israeli dual national arrested on charges of espionage against Egypt.
In an interview with Army Radio, Lieberman said that Ilan Grapel, a 27-year-old American Jew who visited Egypt in February during the demonstrations to overthrow former president Hosni Mubarak, "had no connection whatsoever with any intelligence service, he is (merely) a student who may be a bit odd or irresponsible."
Lieberman refused to respond the reports that Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon was dispatched to Cairo to speed Grapel's release.
"I don't read newspapers," Lieberman said, "and so I don't know any details of the report. The Foreign Ministry is in constant contact with the Egyptian authorities at various levels. Foreign Ministry officials have visited Egypt, and we'd certainly like to cement our relations with the new Egyptian government."
Lieberman said that Israel provided Egypt "with all of the necessary and requested details," adding that he "could not envision a scenario where (Grapel) would not be freed in the next few days."
Grapel's parents, who reside in New York, flatly denied the charges against their son.
"This whole story is totally delusional as far as I am concerned," Grapel's father Daniel told an Israeli television station, adding that "any connection to working with the Mossad is (wrong)."