Egypt Interim Leaders Meet with Top US Diplomat

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U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns is in Egypt Monday for talks with the nation's interim leaders. It's the highest level visit by an American official since the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi.
    
Burns is reportedly discussing ways to reinforce cooperation between the United States and Egypt.

In a meeting with interim President Adli Mansour and other officials, Burns said America is "firmly committed to helping Egypt succeed in this second chance" at creating a democratic state.
 
"We hope it will be a chance to learn some of the lessons and correct some of the mistakes of the last two years," he said.

The Muslim Brotherhood says it does not have a meeting scheduled with Burns. The deputy secretary indicated, however, the U.S. was interested in having all political parties at the table.

"If representatives of some of the largest parties in Egypt are detained or excluded, how are dialogue and participation possible?" Burns said.

Burns' visit comes one day after Egypt's top military leader defended his decision to remove Morsi from office in a televised speech, Sunday.

The army took the action after millions of Egyptians took to the streets.

Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi said the "country was sliding toward deeper polarization and more violence," according to the Associated Press.
 
El-Sissi argued that Morsi violated his popular mandate and created problems with key parts of the government.

Morsi "entered into a conflict with the judiciary, the media, the police and the public opinion. Then (he) also entered into a conflict with the armed forces," he said. "The armed forces sincerely accepted the choice of the people, but then political decision-making began stumbling."

Morsi was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. But Egypt's new temporary government strengthens the hand of those who oppose the Brotherhood.

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