U.S. ties strategic interests to Egypt

Aug. 22, 2013 at 10:55 AM
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 22 (UPI) -- The U.S. government believes Egypt can return to a democratic path, noting some assistance is vital to U.S. security interests, a spokeswoman said.

U.N. Undersecretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman arrived in Cairo to meet with interim leaders this week. World attention has focused on Egypt as political confrontations turned deadly in the aftermath of the July military ouster of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.

Feltman said in a statement Wednesday he "was not in Cairo to make statements on Egypt but to listen to the Egyptians." He said the general sense in the United Nations was that all political leaders in Egypt share a responsibility to end the violence.

The United Nations said more than 500 people were killed in political violence in Egypt in the past several days.

The Muslim Brotherhood, Morsi's political backers, said the July 3 ouster was a military coup. The European Union announced Wednesday it was suspending military aid to Egypt given the severity of the violence.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said during her regular press conference Washington has withdrawn some military support in response to the violence but was moving forward with its strategic interests in mind.

"We have seen our aid to Egypt as something that is vital for our own national security purposes, for regional stability," she said Wednesday.

She stressed, however, Washington felt the Egyptian people could put the country back on the path to a long-term, stable democracy.

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