Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. Earth Science News .




DEMOCRACY
Pentagon chief presses Islamist-led Egypt on reforms
by Staff Writers
Cairo (AFP) April 24, 2013


US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel urged Egypt's Islamist-led government on Wednesday to press ahead with reforms in a trip designed to bolster America's alliances in a region swept by upheaval.

After meeting his Egyptian counterpart, General Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, and President Mohamed Morsi, Hagel said he came to express America's "commitment to Egypt's emerging democracy" and "encourage the democratic and economic reforms that are underway here".

Egypt has been a cornerstone of regional US influence since its 1979 peace treaty with Israel, but Washington has faced a more strained relationship with Cairo after the 2011 overthrow of veteran president Hosni Mubarak.

In his talks with Sissi, Hagel said the government should stick with democratic reforms to ensure "stability in Egypt and the region".

And he praised the Egyptian military "for the responsible role it has played during a difficult period in the country," said a senior US defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Hagel later met Morsi, elected in June as the country's first Islamist and civilian president, before flying to the United Arab Emirates on the last leg of his six-day tour of the Middle East.

Washington has increasingly adopted a critical tone towards Morsi's government over allegations the Islamists have stifled opposition figures and media.

US Secretary of State John Kerry, who promised to unlock aid to Cairo during a visit in March, said this month that Washington had "real concerns" about Egypt's course.

But US officials say security ties cultivated over decades between the two countries have survived the revolution and that America's military leaders still have a direct channel to Egypt's powerful top brass.

In the post-Mubarak era, the United States still provides more than a billion dollars in annual military aid to Egypt.

The huge funding package has always been seen as a way of ensuring Cairo abide by the 1979 peace accords with Israel.

In Wednesday's talks, Morsi reaffirmed Cairo's commitment to the peace treaty and voiced appreciation for continued US military aid, US officials said.

Hagel and his counterparts also discussed deteriorating security in the Sinai Peninsula, with the Egyptians pledging to deter militant elements and the Americans offering possible military hardware or advice, officials said.

Tensions rose after two rockets were fired from the Sinai at the Israeli Red Sea resort of Eilat last week, with a Salafi jihadist group claiming responsibility.

Israel has complained to Egypt over the incident and threatened to take possible military action.

Hagel, who took office two months ago, came to the Middle East touting a major arms deal with Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates designed to bolster America's partners as a counterweight to Iran.

But Syria's raging civil war has topped the agenda through much of Hagel's trip that included stops in Israel, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, amid renewed fears Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime has turned to deadly chemical weapons in its fight with rebel forces.

"Every country we stopped in worried about the instabilty in Syria," said a second US defence official. "It came up in every stop we had."

An Israeli general in military intelligence said Tuesday that the Damascus regime had employed chemical agents, most likely sarin, in battles in recent months.

Hagel, however, urged caution over the Israeli military's assessment, saying it was "serious business" and all evidence had to be weighed carefully.

The United States has made clear any resort to chemical weapons or transfer to militant groups would cross a "red line" and possibly trigger military action.

.


Related Links
Democracy in the 21st century at TerraDaily.com






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





DEMOCRACY
BBC video shows deadly attack in Myanmar
Yangon, Myanmar (UPI) Apr 23, 2013
The BBC broadcast what it says is a video of communal violence shot by Myanmar police and in which Buddhists kill at least two people. Police were greatly outnumbered and stood back as Buddhist mobs, including monks, smashed and ransacked shops apparently owned by Muslims, the video's voice-over said. The violence and beatings took place March 20-21 in the central Myanmar town of ... read more


DEMOCRACY
Landslide kills 14 in Ecuador

Pakistan quake victims burn tyres at angry protests

Hong Kong searches for 6 missing crew after boat crash

Texas fertilizer plant blast 'kills up to 15'

DEMOCRACY
US eases export rules on aerospace parts

MEADS Low Frequency Sensor Cues Multifunction Fire Control Radar in Test

Ontario Air Cadets Take Flight in Lockheed Martin's Prepar3D Simulation Software

Softening steel problem expands computer model applications

DEMOCRACY
New Caledonia bans shark fishing

New NASA Satellite Takes the Salton Sea's Temperature

Climate scientists say Asian monsoon forecasts could improve

Ocean acidification as a hearing aid for fish?

DEMOCRACY
Chinese ship sinks off Antarctica: Chile

Age matters to Antarctic clams

An SwRI-led remote-sensing study quantifies permafrost degradation in Arctic Alaskan wetlands

Prince Harry to trek to South Pole with wounded troops

DEMOCRACY
Europe cheese firms hope time is ripe for China

Fertility needs in high-yielding corn production

UBC researchers weed out ineffective biocontrol agents

Life is sweet for beekepers in Greece, but for how long?

DEMOCRACY
Measuring the hazards of global aftershock

Calculating tsunami risk for the US East Coast

A global murmur, then unusual silence

Superstorm Sandy shook the US

DEMOCRACY
Nigeria amnesty panel says talks possible with Islamists

Scaled down US-Morocco war games resume: embassy

S.African leaders at odds on C.Africa troop re-deployment

France hands Timbuktu mission to Burkina Faso troops

DEMOCRACY
Ancient skeletons reveal genetic 'history' of Europe's peoples

From mice to humans, comfort is being carried by mom

DNA study suggests human immunity to disease has ethnicity basis

Fascinating rhythm: The brain's 'slow waves'




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement