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US embassy denies naval vessels near Egypt presage military move

The US Embassy in Cairo says that US naval ships are regularly deployed near Egypt's shores, dismisses rumours of imminent US invasion

Ahram Online, Saturday 13 Jul 2013
US naval ship
US naval ship passes through Egypt's Suez Canal (Photo: Reuters)
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The US Embassy in Egypt denied Saturday that US naval vessels near Egypt's shores are sent in preparation for military action.

A top Marine Corps general said Thursday that two US marine vessels approached Egypt's Red Sea shore, raising concerns in the Egyptian media about an imminent military move.

"We deny false claims in the Egyptian press that US naval ships are in the vicinity of the Arabian Peninsula and the Suez Canal to militarily invade Egypt," read a statement issued on the US embassy's website.

The statement  went on to say that the United States regularly deploys forces near the Arabian Peninsula and that US vessels regularly pass through Egypt's Suez Canal en route to the Indian Ocean or the Mediterranean Sea.

US Marine Corps officials said the two ships, part of a three-ship amphibious readiness group, has been in the region since May, patrolling the Red Sea, Horn of Africa, the Gulf and the Arabian Sea. The third ship is offshore Bahrain.

They went on to assert there were no new orders to prepare for a possible conflict in Egypt.

Moving amphibious ships closer to the coast would enable easier movement of helicopters and other equipment, if needed in a country  now in ferment, navy officials said.

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