3 November 2013, 15:48

Kerry says US committed to working with Egypt interim rulers

John Kerry

John Kerry

John Kerry

US Secretary of State John Kerry said Sunday his country is committed to working with Egypt's interim rulers, on his first visit to Cairo since the military ousted president Mohamed Morsi.

"We are committed to work and we will continue our cooperation with the interim government," Kerry told reporters, urging "inclusive, free and fair elections".

Kerry said he wanted to express to the Egyptian people "as clearly and as forcefully as I can in no uncertain terms, that the United States is a friend of the people of Egypt, of the country of Egypt, and we are a partner".

He also played down Washington's suspension just weeks ago of part of its $1.5 billion in annual aid to Cairo.

"US-Egyptian relations should not be defined by assistance," Kerry said.

During his Cairo visit, Kerry - the most senior figure of the US administration to visit since Morsi's July ouster - will also meet with interim president Adly Mansour, foreign minister Nabil Fahmy and powerful military chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Kerry arrives in Cairo for first Egypt visit since Morsi's downfall

US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived Sunday in Cairo to push Egypt's military-installed rulers for democratic progress, on his first visit since the Islamist president Mohamed Morsi was ousted.

On the eve of the opening of Morsi's trial, Kerry landed in Cairo, an AFP correspondent said, seeking to shore up ties with a key regional ally and ensure Egypt moves ahead on plans to restore democracy just weeks after Washington suspended part of its $1.5 billion in annual aid.

Kerry to make first Egypt visit since Morsi's overthrow

US Secretary of State John Kerry will on Sunday make his first visit to Egypt since the army's overthrow of President Mohammed Morsi in July, the state-run news agency MENA reported.

The visit will come one day before Morsi's trial, on charges of inciting the murder of opposition protesters, opens in a Cairo court.

The United States withheld hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to Egypt after the army removed Morsi, the country's first democratically elected president. Washington has said that renewing the aid will be conditional upon clear progress toward a democratic transition.

The US State Department did not mention a stop in Egypt when it announced that Kerry would begin a tour of Middle Eastern and European countries on November 3.

Egypt has received some 1.3 billion dollars in annual military aid from the United States since it signed a peace accord with Israel late in the 1970s.

The military says its overthrow of Morsi was in response to a popular wish after millions of Egyptians took to the streets demanding he step down. It says a deadly crackdown on supporters of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood group is part of its war against terrorism.

The Brotherhood and other Islamist groups want Morsi reinstated, accusing the army of a coup.

Voice of Russia, dpa, AFP

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