Many are asking why Gamal Mubarak accompanied his father on an official visit to Washington for the launch of direct talks between the Palestinians and Israelis. In what capacity did he go? Was he a member of the official delegation?
Gamal Mubarak’s position in the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) does not require him to be in Washington; the president doesn't even take the NDP secretary-general on official visits. Nor did the White House announce that Gamal Mubarak was invited, which probably means he wasn't.
Moreover, there is no evidence that Gamal Mubarak maintains any personal or official relationships with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas which would cause them to request his attendance as a mediator.
And since this trip surely has nothing to do with securing US and Israeli support for Gamal Mubarak's inheritance of power from his father, there is only one explanation left: The president just wanted to spend quality time with his son on the sidelines of the negotiations, like many fathers who take their kids to work as a form of leisure.
Anybody curious about Gamal Mubarak's trip will be disappointed to know that important questions–why he went, who he met, what deals he made, and, most importantly, whether or not he managed to obtain American and Israeli blessings for his presidential bid–still have no straight answers. Unless we find out who paid for the trip expenses. Was it the state? The party? His business friends? His father? Or did Gamal Mubarak pay out of his own pocket?
Gamal Mubarak should face up to these questions with sincere and honest answers. Once we know who footed the bill, we will know the purpose of his trip and what it will cost the Egyptian people–financially and politcally.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.