Top general to visit Egypt amid US-Cairo tensions

Associated Press + More

By PAULINE JELINEK, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon's top general will visit Egypt for security talks amid tensions over Cairo's move to bring criminal charges against 19 American pro-democracy workers.

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will meet this week with counterpart Lt. Gen. Sami Anan and top Egyptian military leader, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi.

Dempsey's spokesman, Col. Dave Lapan, said Wednesday the visit is long-planned and Dempsey isn't being dispatched specifically to press Cairo to drop the charges against the non-profit workers, including the son of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

Lapan said that if the dispute isn't resolved by time Dempsey visits, it will likely come up in his talks. Washington threatened to cut aid to Cairo, and Egyptian generals in Washington last week for regular bilateral meetings went home early.

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