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Hagel warns violence putting US-Egyptian defense ties at risk

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said he called his Egyptian counterpart on Thursday to make clear that violence and hundreds of deaths across Egypt are putting key elements of the longstanding U.S.-Egyptian defense cooperation at risk.

Hagel said he told Egyptian army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi that the United States remains ready to work with all parties to help achieve a peaceful, inclusive way forward, and the Pentagon would maintain a military relationship with Egypt despite cancelling a bilateral military exercise.

"But I made it clear that the violence and inadequate steps towards reconciliation are putting important elements of our longstanding defense cooperation at risk," Hagel said in a statement.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal-Esa; editing by Jackie Frank)

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/130815/hagel-warns-violence-putting-us-egyptian-defense-ties-at-risk