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Israeli PM Says Peace With Egypt Must Be Preserved

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu (file photo)
Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu says that Israel's three-decade-old peace agreement with Egypt must be preserved -- despite the chaos and lawlessness sweeping the country.

It was Netanyahu's first public statement on the turmoil in Egypt since antigovernment protests began six days ago.

Netanyahu said his "objective is to ensure" the preservation of peaceful ties between Egypt and Israel -- a cornerstone for geopolitical stability in the Middle East.

Hundreds of thousands of Egyptians have taken to the streets since January 25 to call for the resignation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and his regime.

Government buildings have been torched and more than 100 people have been killed in clashes with security forces.

European countries and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called on Mubarak's regime to avoid using force against unarmed protesters and to respect fundamental human rights.

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, today, international experts warned that the outside world should act with caution and leave it to the Egyptians to decide their own political future.

The U.S. Embassy said today that all U.S. citizens should leave Egypt as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, Turkey today sent two passenger planes to Egypt to help repatriate about 750 Turkish citizens from Cairo and Alexandria.

compiled from agency reports