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U.S. urges Egyptian military, civilian leadership to cooperate

(Xinhua)

08:45, August 14, 2012

WASHINGTON, Aug. 13 (Xinhua) -- The White House on Monday called on the Egyptian military and civilian leadership to work together to address the challenges facing the country.

"It is important for the Egyptian military and civilian leadership to work closely together to address the economic and security challenges facing Egypt," White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One en route to the Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska.

He was commenting on Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi's move on Sunday to retire his defense team, including Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the defense minister and head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.

The reshuffle came following a terrorist attack on a military checkpoint on the Sinai Peninsula on Aug. 5 that killed 16 Egyptian soldiers.

"We hope that President Morsi's announcements will serve the interests of the Egyptian people and maintain good relations with Egypt's neighbors," Carney said.

"We will continue to work with Egypt's civilian and military leaders to advance our many shared interests. In particular, we are ready to help President Morsi and the military as they continue to work to prevent extremists from operating in the Sinai, " he added.

Egyptian troops have started an operation to crack down on rising terrorist activities in Sinai, which has witnessed a growing lawlessness since then President Hosni Mubarak was toppled in early 2011.

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