Egypt defence minister discusses military cooperation with John Kerry

Ahram Online , Sunday 3 Mar 2013

Defence Minister Abdel-Fattah El-Sissi discusses military cooperation with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Cairo

John Kerry
US Secretary of State John Kerry addresses the media at a meeting with business leaders in Cairo, March 2, 2012. (Photo: Reuters)

US Secretary of State John Kerry met with Egyptian Defence Minister Lt. Gen. Abdel-Fattah El-Sissi in Cairo on Sunday.

The meeting looked into bilateral ties and strategic cooperation at the military level, without tackling Egypt's political situation, a military source told Al-Ahram Arabic news website.

The source denied Egypt's president and military are at odds, and said the army is not part of the country's current political dispute.

The visit is part of Kerry's first diplomatic tour as America's top diplomat.

Kerry is scheduled to visit nine countries in Western Europe and the Middle East including the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar. His tour is scheduled to last from 24 February until 6 March.

Following the meeting, Kerry went to the presidential palace for talks with President Mohamed Morsi.

While in Cairo, Secretary Kerry will meet senior Egyptian officials, political figures, civil society leaders, and the business community to "encourage greater political consensus and moving forward on economic reforms," the US Department of State said last Sunday.

The US Senate unanimously approved Kerry's nomination as Secretary of State to succeed Hillary Clinton on 29 January, as part of President Obama's second-term cabinet reshuffle.

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