Pentagon chief welcomes Egypt's ending emergency law, curfew

Pentagon chief welcomes Egypt
# 17 November 2013 04:32 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Saturday phoned his Egyptian counterpart Abdul Fatah al- Sisi to welcome the end of the emergency law and curfew imposed by the Egyptian military in August to crack down on protests, APA reports quoting website.

"Secretary Hagel welcomed the end of the emergency law and curfew in Egypt and reiterated that the United States values the rights of all people to express their views peacefully," Pentagon's Assistant Press Secretary Carl Woog said in a statement.

The three-month emergency law and curfew in the capital city of Cairo and 13 other provinces, imposed in August by the Egyptian military, expired on Thursday.

Al-Sisi overthrew the rule of Egypt's first elected president Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood in early July after the military intervened in the clashes between Morsi's supporters and opponents on the first anniversary of Morsi's election.

But the end of the curfew was followed by protests by Morsi's supporters Friday, when a teenager was killed in the city of Alexandria during clashes between Morsi's supporters and opponents. More than 10,000 Morsi supporters demonstrated in Cairo after their weekly prayers.

Hagel and al-Sisi also discussed the importance of continuing progress on the roadmap towards inclusive democracy, Woog said.

Both leaders "emphasized the importance that the Egyptian and US governments both place on the bilateral relationship and commitment to shared security interests," Woog added.

The US used to provide some 1.5 billion dollars in annual aid to Egypt, the first Arab country to make peace with Israel and the leading US ally in the Middle East. But Washington announced in early October that it was "recalibrating" part of its aid to Egypt in an attempt to pressure the military to transfer its power to a civilian government sooner.