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Egypt commits to peaceful crisis settlement

WASHINGTON, Aug. 6 (UPI) -- The Egyptian military is committed to a peaceful resolution to the country's ongoing political turbulence, the U.S. Defense Department said.

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel spoke by phone with Egyptian Defense Minister Abdul Fatah al-Sisi. Defense Department spokesman George Little said the two men reviewed diplomatic efforts under way to resolve a crisis brewing since the military removed Egypt's democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi, from power July 3.

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U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns has been in Egypt meeting with interim leaders to find a political solution to the situation.

"Sisi underscored his commitment to peaceful resolution of the ongoing protests, and thanked Secretary Hagel for U.S. support," Little said in a statement Monday. "[He] affirmed the commitment of the interim civilian government to an inclusive political road map for all Egyptians."

The Egyptian defense minister told The Washington Post last week the United States turned its back on Egypt. He accused Morsi, who hails from the Muslim Brotherhood, of picking "fights with almost all the state institutions," during his 13 months in office.

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U.S. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said Burns met in Egypt with detained leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood. She said the U.S. government feels Morsi's political organization still has a role to play in Egypt's government.

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