Kerry urges unity as he wraps up Egypt visit
By Nicolas Revise, AFPCAIRO--U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met the Egyptian president on Sunday as he wraps up a trip to Cairo, where he urged divided factions to reach a consensus that would pave the way for economic recovery.
March 4, 2013, 12:26 am TWN
Before going into talks with Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, the U.S. secretary of state met army chief Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.
Kerry flew in to Cairo from Turkey on Saturday and urged a wide range of political and business leaders to reach a consensus, after months of political turmoil and unrest.
“There must be a willingness on all sides to make meaningful compromises on the issues that matter most to the Egyptian people,” Kerry told reporters after talks on Saturday with Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr.
“We do believe that in this moment of economic challenge that it is important for the Egyptian people to come together around the economic choices and to find some common ground in making those choices,” he said.
Kerry's visit comes with Egypt deeply divided between Morsi's mainly Islamist allies and a wide-ranging opposition that accuses Morsi of failing to address the country's economic needs and political concerns.
Kerry said he would discuss with Morsi on Sunday ways in which the United States could help Egypt recover from its economic crisis.
“And I emphasize again, as strongly as I can, we're not here to interfere, I'm here to listen,” Kerry said.
A State Department official traveling with Kerry told reporters that the secretary of state would also discuss anti-semitic remarks Morsi made before he was president and has since backtracked from.
An Egyptian activist shouts slogans as she holds a poster depicting Egyptian Islamist President Mohammed Morsi doctored to resemble Adolf Hitler during a protest outside the Egyptian foreign ministry during a visit by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Cairo, Saturday, March 2.