U.S. official reassures Egypt of assistance

Deputy Secretary of State William Burns told new Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi that the United States is “fully committed” to assistance for Egypt.

Burns, who also was scheduled to visit Israel this week for another round in the U.S.-Israel strategic dialogue, met with Morsi July 9.

“The United States will do all we can to help ensure a successful transition in Egypt, which offers the best path to realize the aspirations of the Egyptian people for dignity, for opportunity, for security, and for a voice in their own affairs,” Burns said after the meeting.

Some lawmakers in Congress, wary of Morsi’s affiliations with the Islamist party Muslim Brotherhood, want the United States to slow down assistance until it becomes clear that Morsi remains committed to the 1979 peace treaty with Israel.

Burns said he was in Cairo to prepare for a visit to Egypt this weekend by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, the highest-level visit since Morsi’s election in June. Clinton also is scheduled to travel to Israel next week, and Burns was to meet with Palestinian Authority leaders in the West Bank.

Such visits have intensified in recent months as the United States and Israel coordinate on how best to deal with Iran and its suspected nuclear weapons program. — jta