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Friday
Feb042011

Adm. Mullen 'Cautions Against' Stopping Aid to Egypt

Photo Courtesy - Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The president’s top military advisor said the U.S. should wait before taking action and suspending any of the $1.5 billion in annual aid to Egypt if President Mubarak does not step down.

“There is a lot of uncertainty out there and I would just caution against doing anything until we really understand what’s going on,” Admiral Mike Mullen told ABC News on Friday.  “I recognize that certainly is a significant investment, but it’s an investment that has paid off for a long, long time.”

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has been in contact with his counterpart in Egypt who assured him that the military would remain neutral and not fire on the Egyptian people.

Regarding Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's remarks that chaos would ensue if he left office immediately, Mullen said it is too early to tell how the country would react.

“That’s why an orderly, and in accordance with what the Egyptian people want here in terms of the transition.  Our president has made it very clear that he would like to see that move reasonably quickly,” Mullen said.  “But at the same time this is really up to the Egyptian people and the Egyptian government.”

As protests are being seen in Jordan and Yemen, Mullen said U.S. forces are in a state of increased awareness but have not raised the alert or threat levels.

“We are obviously very focused on this throughout the region.  One of the things is it is moving pretty quickly…and we have plenty of military presence throughout the region as well,” he said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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