Kerry in Egypt on first visit since Morsi ouster

November 3, 2013
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry prepares to board his aircraft at Andrews Air Force Base near Washington, Nov. 2, 2013. Kerry is in Cairo pressing for reforms during the highest-level American visit to Egypt since the ouster of the country’s first democratically elected president. The Egyptian military’s removal of Mohammed Morsi in July led the U.S. to suspend hundreds of millions of dollars in aid. It seems the State Department expected a frosty reception for Kerry ahead of Monday’s scheduled start of Morsi’s trial on charges of inciting murder. (AP Photo/Jason Reed,Pool)

CAIRO (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says U.S.-Egypt relations should not be defined by assistance.

At a joint news conference following a meeting with Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy, Kerry said the suspension of aid to Egypt is not a punishment. Kerry said the U.S. was acting in the spirit of a law that would require withholding hundreds of thousands of dollars in assistance if the U.S. had determined a coup had taken place in July.

Kerry said the topic was mentioned only briefly in his meeting with Fahmy and that he believed Egyptian authorities understood that rationale.

Kerry made an unannounced trip to Egypt Sunday on the first leg of a nine-day trip to the Mideast and Europe. This is Kerry's first trip to Egypt since the military's