Pentagon: Hagel calls Egyptian defense minister

Published: Wednesday, July 3, 2013 12:00 p.m.CDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon says Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has spoken to the Egyptian defense minister twice in the past week, including a call he made to Defense Minister Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi on Tuesday.

Pentagon press secretary George Little is refusing to release any details about the content of the calls. He says U.S. officials at various levels of government have been very clear that America remains committed to the democratic process in Egypt and hopes the tensions there can be resolved peacefully.

The disclosure came as Egypt's military moved to tighten control of key institutions in the country, ahead of an almost certain push to oust President Mohammed Morsi from office.

Little says the Pentagon did not disclose last week's call until now because of the sensitivities of the situation.

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