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Egyptian general cuts short US visit

By Haris Afzal on Saturday, January 29, 2011 with 0 comments

WASHINGTON: The Pentagon said the Egyptian army's chief of staff and other top officers departed Washington on Friday, cutting short a planned week-long visit amid protests sweeping their country.

The previously scheduled annual defense talks "adjourned this morning after the Egyptian delegation was called home by its government," Pentagon spokesman Colonel Dave Lapan said in a statement.

Lieutenant General Sami Enan led the 25-member delegation, which had been due to hold meetings through next Wednesday.

Sandy Vershbow, the assistant secretary of defense, led the US side for the talks and reiterated the Washington's appeal for restraint in dealing with widespread unrest, Lapan said.

"The current situation in Egypt arose very quickly, but Ambassador Vershbow did have the opportunity to urge restraint to his Egyptian counterpart during the Wednesday and Thursday meetings here in the Pentagon," he said.

Earlier, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for restraint on all sides as Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak called in the troops and imposed a curfew in three provinces.

The United States provides $1.3 billion annually in military assistance to its longtime ally, and officials said 625 American military personnel are stationed in Egypt.

Category: World News



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