Israeli Minister: Stop U.S. Military Aid to Egypt

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JERUSALEM, Israel - Former Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. (ret.) Shaul Mofaz called on the U.S. administration to halt all military aid to Egypt without delay.

Speaking at the 11th annual Herzliya Conference on Wednesday, Mofaz, who chairs the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, said the "earthquake" that began in Tunisia a month ago and spread to Egypt and other countries in the region took Israel and the rest of the world by surprise.

Mofaz said the situation in Egypt revealed "a grave mistake" the U.S. could correct by converting military to civilian aid, which would have a genuine impact on the issues at stake.  

"I call on the United States to immediately stop all military aid to Egypt and to the other states in the area and to convert it, without conditions, to civilian aid," he said.

Mofaz said converting from military to civilian aid would pave the way to improving people's lives in those areas.

"We and all the Western countries, led by the United States, should say we are expecting to see a democratic regime in Egypt," which in turn would safeguard the 1979 Israel-Egypt peace treaty while continuing "to help Egyptians civilly, not militarily."

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