US defense chief reaffirms military ties with Egypt

April 25, 2013 00:22

CAIRO - US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel underscored Washington's military commitment to Egypt on Wednesday and pledged American support as Egyptian forces evolve to address new and shifting security threats, US defense officials said.

"I wanted to stop in Egypt to ... reaffirm American commitment to Egypt's emerging democracy, encourage the democratic and economic reforms that are underway here," Hagel told reporters after a day of meetings with Egyptian officials.

"This is a large country, an important country. They are undertaking the right course of action - human dignity and freedom and democratic norms and governance. We are committed to helping any nation that does that," he said.

After stops in Israel, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, Hagel discussed military cooperation and the civil war in Syria with President Mohamed Morsi and Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

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