There will not be real equality in sharing the burden of national service until there is conscription for haredim and Arabs alike, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said Saturday.

Speaking in Petah Tikva at a weekly cultural event, Ayalon addressed several issues currently at the forefront of Israeli political and public discourse.

He said that army service must be identical for everyone in terms of conscription age and length of service. Despite strife this week over finding a replacement to the Tal Law, which saw the Keshev committee crumble, and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Vice Premier Shaul Mofaz struggling to agree, Ayalon asserted that "it is not too late.. to make the right  decision."

Turning to the subject of Egypt under its newly elected president Mohamed Mursy, the minister said, "Mursy was elected by the Egyptians and represents national interests, not sectoral interests."

"There is room for optimism, continued cooperation and normal relations between Israel and Egypt, also through the embassies which continue operating as usual," he continued. He added that since Mursy's inauguration, the new leader has transmitted encouraging messages.

Addressing the Iranian threat, Ayalon said that the new sanctions that came into effect last week, "served a fatal blow to the Iranian economy and undermined the security of the Ayatollan regime." However, he said that Tehran had not yet halted its nuclear race, therefore increasing pressure must continue to be placed on the Islamic Republic.  

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