Kerry says US committed to working with Egypt interim rulers

AFP and Ahram Online, Sunday 3 Nov 2013

US Secretary of State John Kerry asserts his country's commitment to cooperate with Egypt, says aid cut 'small issue'

US Secretary of State John Kerry, right, shakes hands with Egypt's Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy at their press conference in Cairo, Sunday, (Photo: AP).

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".

Addressing the Egyptian people, Kerry said "we support you in this tremendous transformation you are going through."

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, adding that the aid is a "very small issue."

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 El-Sisi.

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