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US should show equal keenness on Egypt relations: Presidential spokesman

Ihab Badawi states Wednesday that Egypt puts "national dignity" and the "people's will" first, while adding that Cairo and Washington will take steps soon to strengthen bilateral relations

Ahram Online, Wednesday 6 Nov 2013
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry with Egypt
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry participates in a joint news conference with Egypt's Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy (L) in Cairo, November 3, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)
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Egypt is keen on its relationship with the US, but the latter has to feel the same way for Egypt, presidential spokesman Ihab Badawi said in a press conference Wednesday.
Badawi said that even though Egypt is interested to stay on good terms with the US, it is more keen on the Egyptian people's will and on "national Egyptian dignity."
However, he also added that "practical procedures" on the political and economic levels would be taken soon to strengthen the relationship between the two countries, and reflect US support for the Egyptian people.
US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Cairo for a brief visit Sunday, during which he said his country is committed to working with Egypt's interim rulers.
Kerry's visit was his first since Islamist president Mohamed Morsi was deposed by the army 3 July amid mass protests against Muslim Brotherhood rule, and which sparked tensions between the two nations in its wake.
On 9 October, the US said it would withhold deliveries of tanks, fighter aircrafts, helicopters and missiles, as well as $260 million in cash aid, from Egypt's interim government, pending progress on democracy and human rights.
US officials stated that the decision demonstrated unhappiness with Egypt's path since 3 July.
Hundreds of pro-Morsi protesters were killed in August after security forces cracked down on demonstrations.
Addressing the Egyptian people, Kerry said "We support you in this tremendous transformation you are going through."
He also played down Washington's decision, taken just weeks ago, to suspend part of its annual aid to Egypt.
"US-Egyptian relations should not be defined by assistance," Kerry said, adding that the aid is a "very small issue."
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