Pentagon: Hagel calls Egyptian defense minister
July 3, 3013
U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has been in contact with his Egyptian counterpart Gen. Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi twice in the past week amid the country’s growing unrest.
Pentagon press secretary George Little told reporters about the calls without giving further details about their content, the Associated Press reported on Wednesday.
The Pentagon did not disclose last week’s call until now because of the sensitivities of the situation, Little said.
Supporters and opponents of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi held rallies across the capital, Cairo, on Wednesday as the Army’s 48-hour deadline for the president to yield to the demands of the protesters or face military intervention approached.
Since last week, more than 47 people have been killed and nearly 1,500 injured in clashes between pro and anti-Morsi protesters.
The United States has said hundreds of its crisis-response Marines in Europe were positioned to deploy to Egypt.
“I believe that any discussion about foreign interference in Egypt would be detrimental to the Egyptian people,” editor of Pan-African News Wire Abayomi Azikiwe said by phone on Wednesday.
“I believe that the situation in Egypt should be resolved by the Egyptian people themselves. They should do this in conjunction with the African Union,” Azikiwe said.
“The solution is for the Egyptian people to develop their own government of national unity and to form alliances throughout the African Union,” he added.