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US urges restraint from Egypt military chief

Following Egypt visit by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, US defence secretary Chuck Hagel calls for 'inclusive reconciliation process'

AFP , Tuesday 30 Jul 2013

US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel called once again on Egypt's military Tuesday to show restraint in the wake of deadly protests.

Hagel spoke to General Abdel Fattah El-Sisi by telephone after EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton paid a first-of-a-kind visit to ousted president Mohamed Morsi.

Hagel spoke to El-Sisi "to discuss the security situation in Egypt and urge restraint by Egyptian security forces in dealing with ongoing protests," Pentagon spokesman George Little said.

The two spoke about Ashton's visit and "the need for an inclusive reconciliation process," Little said.

The United States has repeatedly urged restraint by Egypt's military since its popularly-backed 3 July ouster of Morsi, an Islamist who was the nation's first democratically elected leader.

But the United States has refused to use the term coup, a designation that would require a cutoff in US aid, even after the killing of 82 people in a pro-Morsi protest on Saturday.

Ashton said she was able to see Morsi and that he was doing well. The ousted president has not been seen in public since he was toppled.

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