U.S. diplomat Burns visits Egypt to urge peaceful transition

U.S. diplomat Burns visits Egypt to urge peaceful transition
# 03 August 2013 02:46 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns arrived in Egypt's capital of Cairo on Friday evening to help facilitate a peaceful political transition, official news agency MENA reported, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

It is Burns' second visit to Egypt since the ouster of Islamist Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi.

In a press release on Friday, U.S. Department of State said that Secretary of State John Kerry asked his deputy Burns to visit Egypt again "to discuss with Egyptian leaders the importance of avoiding violence and helping to facilitate a peaceful and inclusive political process."

"The United States looks forward to seeing a peaceful transition to a democratically-elected civilian government that protects the rights of all Egyptians," the statement said.

The statement noted that Burns will be joining officials from the European Union and others in the region, "who share our goal for a successful transition in Egypt."

On Friday, thousands of pro-Morsi protesters took to the streets, joining a rally dubbed "Egypt against Coup," in a defiant step against the interior ministry's call to evacuate squares and prioritize national interests.

Interior ministry spokesman Hani Abdel-Latif promised "safe exit" and "full protection" for Morsi's supporters who would respond to this call and leave the sit-ins.

On the other hand, the U.S. embassy in Cairo has decided to close door and halt services on Sunday in light of Friday's protests.

In a message, the U.S. embassy said it would take precautionary measures to preserve the life of U.S. citizens in Egypt, adding that the embassy might remain closed for extra days based on its analysis of the situation.

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