Suleiman, Omar Mahmud (1935–)

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Egyptian military figure, born in 1935, in Cairo, Omar Suleiman began a career in the military in 1955. In 1978, he became head of the strategic planning section of the operational center of Egyptian armed forces. After earning a degree in political science, between 1986 and 1988 he was assistant director of the Egyptian Military Intelligence Department (MID). Appreciated by President Husni Mubarak, he was named director general of the MID in August 1989. General Ghayati replaced him in November of the following year. A few months later, Suleiman took over the leadership of the General Intelligence Service (GIS).

In October 1993 there was talk he was being considered for the position of vice president of the Republic, or, if not, as special advisor to the presidency. Two years later, in November, he was named special advisor to President Mubarak, while continuing to head the GIS. From then on, Suleiman was in charge of sensitive dossiers, like that of the Israeli-Arab peace process, and that of the Palestinian question, while participating in the negotiations between Yemen and Eritrea in their dispute over the Hanish Islands. On 10 January 2001, in the context of the intensification of the al-Intifada in the Palestinian territories, he met with the director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), George Tenet. In 2003 he met with Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat and Premier Mahmud Abbas as part of a bid to broker a truce between radical militants and Israel.

SEE ALSO Aqsa Intifada, al-;Mubarak, Husni.