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Kerry expresses support for Egypt in brief visit

Kerry said he would return to Egypt to discuss ‘ways that we can work together in order to deal with Daesh’

Published: Updated:

US Secretary of State John Kerry expressed support for Egypt during a brief stop in Cairo on Wednesday before he attends a summit of Gulf states in Saudi Arabia.

Ties between Washington and Cairo have improved since the United States lifted a freeze on military aid that it had imposed on Egypt following the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Mursi in 2013 and crackdown on his supporters.

Kerry met President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the former military chief who overthrew Mursi, at his palace.

“The United States understands the importance of Egypt to this region,” Kerry said after the meeting, according a transcript from the State Department.

“And we are deeply committed -- contrary to some things that occasionally get written or some suggestions that people make -- we are deeply committed to the stability of Egypt,” he said.

Egypt is facing a deadly insurgency by ISIS militants based in the Sinai Peninsula, which has killed hundreds of soldiers and policemen since Mursi’s overthrow.

Kerry said he would return to Egypt to discuss “ways that we can work together in order to deal with Daesh (ISIS) particularly and to help Egypt in terms of the security concerns that it has today.”

Washington still has concerns about human rights violations in Egypt, including a crackdown on some civil society groups.

“We also talked about ways in which we can hopefully resolve some of the differences and questions that have arisen about the internal politics and choices for the people of Egypt,” Kerry said.