Netanyahu fears extremist regime in Egypt

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says there is a "real fear" that rapid change in Egypt could lead to an oppressive regime like that of Iran's.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke Monday of a "real fear" that rapid change in Egypt could lead to an oppressive regime similar to the one in Iran.

At a press conference in Jerusalem with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Netanyahu said he hoped the peace established with Egypt 30 years ago would continue, but a "situation may develop of very quick changes taking place without the structures and foundations of modern democracy being present.

"So what may develop, as in some countries like Iran … is a form of fundamentalist Islam with oppression and no rights. And that is our real fear," he said on the seventh day of violent anti-government protests in Egypt.

Netanyahu said he did not believe that the protests were being incited by extreme groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood, but it was possible extremists could take over during a time of upheaval. He said he was being updated every 30 minutes on the rapidly evolving events in Egypt.

Joint meeting for Germany, Israel

The Israeli and German governments were convening for a special joint session highlighting the two nations' strong bond six decades after the Holocaust. 

Monday's session is the third such annual meeting since the countries signed a special arrangement.

Merkel arrived Monday with 10 of her cabinet ministers. The Germans will meet with their Israeli counterparts.

The sides are expected to sign a series of agreements on joint projects ranging from industrial research and development to co-operation in providing aid to developing countries.

With files from The Associated Press