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Kerry in Cairo to resume US-Egypt ‘strategic dialogue’

US Secretary of State John Kerry is in Cairo to resume a US-Egypt “strategic dialogue” that was suspended following the 2011 Islamic revolution.  

Kerry arrived in Cairo on Saturday and on Sunday will hold security talks with Egyptian officials.

He will also meet former army chief and current President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, under whose leadership the Egyptian army toppled President Mohamed Morsi, the country’s first democratically elected leader, in July 2013.

The Egyptians launched a revolution against the pro-US regime of former President Hosni Mubarak in January 2011, which eventually ended the 30-year dictatorship of Mubarak in February 2011.

In June 2012, Egyptians voted in the country’s first free and fair presidential election, electing the Muslim Brotherhood’s Morsi as their leader.

But about a year later, the Egyptian army backed by the United States toppled Morsi, suspended the constitution and launched a violent crackdown against the Muslim Brotherhood.

On December 25, 2013, the military-appointed government listed the Brotherhood as a “terrorist” organization over alleged involvement in a deadly bombing, without investigating or providing any evidence.

In January 2014, Amnesty International criticized Egyptian authorities for using an “unprecedented scale” of violence against protesters and dealing “a series of damaging blows to human rights.”

US Secretary of State John Kerry (L) meets with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh on March 13, 2015. (AFP photo)

According to the UK-based rights group, at least 1,400 people have been killed in the political violence since Morsi’s ouster in July 2013, “most of them due to excessive force used by security forces.”

“We’ll certainly be discussing the issue of the political environment, human rights issues while the Secretary is in Cairo. That is an important part of our regular dialogue,” a US State Department official said on Friday.

In late March, the United States restored annual military aid of $1.3 billion to Egypt which was suspended in 2013.

The US has provided about $1.5 billion in aid to Egypt annually, including $1.3 billion in military aid, following a peace treaty between Egypt and Israel in 1979.

This makes Egypt the second largest non-NATO recipient of US military aid after Israel.

By Press TV