Cairo: Cabinet Minister Talks of War with US, Israel

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- An Egyptian official spoke about war with the United States and Israel during a cabinet meeting officiated by President Mohammed Morsi.

Morsi gathered his ministers to discuss a response to Ethiopia's plan to build a dam on the Nile River.

According to media reports, ministers were unaware the discussion was being aired live on Egyptian television. Later, the Middle East Research Institute (MEMRI) provided a video of the meeting with English subtitles.

Ministers spoke of ways to protect Egypt's water supply, with some suggesting destabilizing the Ethiopian government. One minister alleged Israel and the United States are involved in Ethiopia' plan to build a damn.

Magdi Hussein, chairman of the Islamic Labor Party, said the conflict over the Nile River included Egypt's enemies, Israel and the United States. Hussein told ministers they should swear themselves to secrecy as they develop a "popular plan for popular national security."

"The principles behind what I'm saying are not really secret," Hussein said after someone handed him a note. "Our war is with America and Israel, not with Ethiopia."

When Morsi reminded ministers the meeting was being broadcast live, Hussein continued along the same lines.

"Imagine what this people would do if its water were turned off -- what 80 million of us would do to Israel and the United States," he said.

Before it concluded, Morsi told the viewing audience Egypt is "not about to start aggression with anyone whatsoever or affront anyone whatsoever."

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