The misery in Syria will not repeat itself in Egypt,
US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns said Monday in Cairo,
while calling for an end to the violence and the start of talks
between rival factions.
Burns is the first US official to visit the Egyptian capital since the army overthrew former president Mohammed Morsi.
There are mounting concerns that the country could slide into a Syria-like civil war as it remains polarized between the Islamist supporters of Morsi and their opponents who backed his ouster.
The high-level US diplomat held talks with interim president Adli Mansour and Defence Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, the architect of Morsi's ouster. Both Salafist and secular groups refused to meet with him.
Speaking to reporters after the meetings, Burns said that the United States does not favour certain figures in Egypt but remained on the side of the Egyptian people.
He stressed Washington's commitment to help Egypt achieve democracy.
Burns also met with prime minister designate Hazem Beblawy, who is expected to announce a transitional cabinet this week.
Army chief al-Sissi and Burns discussed political developments and ways to improve cooperation between the countries, the army spokesman said in a brief statement.
Al-Sissi announced a presidential handover on July 3, after millions took to the streets across Egypt demanding the Islamist president's removal from power.
The army chief has defended his decision to depose Morsi, Egypt's first democratically elected president, saying the military heeded the will of the people.
The biggest Islamist party that backed Morsi's ouster, the Salafist al-Nour party, refused to meet with Burns, without giving a reason, al-Ahram reported.
Members of the grassroot movement Tamarod, or Rebellion, which organized the protests that led to Morsi's ouster, also refused an invitation to meet with Burns, the group's spokesman Mahmoud Badr said, accusing the US of supporting Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood group.
President Barack Obama avoided calling Morsi's ouster a coup, but many anti-Morsi Egyptians have expressed anger at Washington for not supporting their "revolution" against the brotherhood and the calls by some members of Congress to cut aid to Cairo.
Pro-Morsi protesters have also criticized the US for not condemning Morsi's ouster.
The US gives Egypt around 1.5 billion dollars of annual aid. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces - which ruled Egypt for 16 months after the fall of Hosny Mubarak in 2011 - receives around 1.3 billion dollars of them.
Protesters have repeatedly chanted against Obama and the US ambassador to Cairo, Anne W Patterson, in the past week.
Burns, who will be in Cairo until Tuesday, will also meet civil society and business leaders.
"In all these meetings, he will underscore US support for the Egyptian people, an end to all violence, and a transition leading to an inclusive, democratically elected civilian government," the US State Department said on Sunday.
Backers and opponents of Morsi plan mass rallies coinciding with the visit.
Morsi remains in detention at a secret location. His Muslim Brotherhood group has vowed not to cooperate with the new government and wants Morsi reinstated.
Egypt's prosecutors have frozen the assets of leading members of the Brotherhood, whose leaders also face charges of inciting violence. Dozens have been killed in clashes since the army's overthrow of Morsi.
There has also been a rise in violence in the Sinai Peninsula, which borders Israel and the Palestinian Gaza Strip.
Gunmen attacked a bus carrying workers in Sinai's town of al-Arish, killing three people and injuring 17, security and medical officials said.
A security official said a rocket-propelled grenade fired by the gunmen missed a military vehicle guarding the bus.
## Internet - [Tamarod Arabic release] (http://dpaq.de/AhpeI) - [State Department press release] (http://dpaq.de/UkgHf)
* * * * The following information is not for publication
## dpa-Contacts - Reporting by: Nehal El-Sherif - Editing by : Stephen Lowman Tel: +49 30 285231472; email@example.com
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