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Israeli official brands Egypt's government dictatorial

By Sara Sidner, CNN
November 5, 2012 -- Updated 1158 GMT (1958 HKT)
  • A top aide to Israel's defense minister is critical of Egypt's new government
  • "Out of the desire for democracy, a terrible dictatorial force has emerged," he says
  • The Israeli government has distanced itself from aide Amos Gilad's comments
  • Mohammed Morsy took office as Egypt's first freely elected leader in June

Read a version of this story in Arabic.

Jerusalem (CNN) -- A top aide to Israel's defense minister described Egypt's new government as a "terrible dictatorial force," while speaking at a security conference in Israel Friday.

Senior Israeli official Amos Gilad's comments were broadcast on Israel Radio. The Israeli government quickly distanced itself from them.

Talking about the Arab Spring's effect on Egypt, Gilad said: "Out of the desire for democracy, a terrible dictatorial force has emerged."

He said the liberal forces and young demonstrators in Tahrir Square who ousted President Hosni Mubarak last year had all but vanished.

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The people of Egypt elected Mohamed Morsy in June this year, following the protests that toppled his dictatorial predecessor after 30 years in power.

Gilad also stated that there was no dialogue between Israel's high-ranking echelon and Egypt's President Morsy, and that he didn't think there would be talks. He added: "They won't talk to us."

In a statement referring to Gilad's comments, the communications director for Israel's Defense Ministry said: "As to the focus of what was said, (Gilad) emphasized the strategic importance of the peace agreement with Egypt and the importance of working relations with Egypt.

"The defence establishment and (Gilad) do not intend to interfere in Egypt's internal issues."

Israel and Egypt have had a peace treaty in place since 1979. Not long after taking office, Morsy said he would continue to honor international treaties.

Morsy ran for election as the candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, but resigned from the party shortly after he won office.

His office did not immediately respond to Gilad's remarks.