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U.S. reopens embassy in Cairo

July 15, 2013 at 12:56 PM

CAIRO, July 15 (UPI) -- The U.S. Embassy in Cairo said Monday it was open for routine services by appointment, less than two weeks after the military ousted President Mohamed Morsi.

Morsi's tenure ended July 3, less than a year after he became the first democratically elected president in Egyptian history. The U.S. government stopped short of describing the ouster as a coup so it could continue sending military aid to Egypt.

Morsi, initially embraced by the U.S. government, was credited with helping secure a truce this year between Israel and Hamas. He faced domestic criticism, however, for failing to tackle economic crises and for seeming to favor Islamic political groups. He was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood before his election.

The State Department said Sunday it dispatched Deputy Secretary of State William Burns to Cairo to discuss the crisis with interim political leaders and members of civil society.

"In all these meetings, he will underscore U.S. support for the Egyptian people, an end to all violence, and a transition leading to an inclusive, democratically elected civilian government," the department said.

Human Rights Watch said Monday at least 51 protesters were killed during demonstrations July 8. It said military and police forces were behind the violence, though only Muslim Brotherhood supporters were under investigation.

The U.S. Embassy said Monday it was open for routine services by appointment only. It closed in the days following Morsi's ouster.

"Even demonstrations or events intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence," the U.S. Embassy said.

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