Kerry: US a ‘friend’ of Egyptian people

Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday said the U.S. “in no uncertain terms” is a “friend” of the people of Egypt. 

"We are committed to work and we will continue our cooperation with the interim government," Kerry said in Cairo, according to Agence France-Presse.

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Kerry urged "inclusive, free and fair elections," adding that he wanted to tell Egyptians "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."

Kerry’s trip to Cairo is his first since the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi in July and comes just one day before Morsi and other senior members of the Muslim Brotherhood are due to go on trial. 

A U.S. official told Reuters the visit was "totally and completely unrelated to the Morsi trial."

Earlier this month, the White House suspended millions of dollars in military hardware and foreign aid to Egypt in a "recalibration" of Washington's long-standing military and diplomatic ties with Egypt.

Kerry’s sought to downplay that suspension, saying on Sunday that "U.S.-Egyptian relations should not be defined by assistance."

Kerry is also scheduled to travel to Riyadh, Warsaw, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Amman, Abu Dhabi, Algiers and Rabat before ending Mideast his trip on November 12.