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Kerry says mass death sentences 'disturbing'

US Secretary of State John Kerry vaguely described the mass death sentences as "disturbing".


At a press conference with his Egyptian counterpart Tuesday, Kerry said that despite "positive steps" taken by the interim government, "there have been disturbing decisions within the judicial process. The court system does have very serious challenges for all of us."

Kerry added that everyone is looking forward to Egypt's return to the international arena as a key partner.

For his part, Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Nabil Fahmy stated: "I can't comment on the content of the decisions themselves, but I am confident that due process is allowed and that when due process is allowed, and that the legal system will ultimately end up with the proper decision in each of these cases. We will build a democracy based on the rule of law."

The Obama administration announced last week it would send Egypt 10 Apache helicopters and $650 million in aid, drawing condemnation from US media and analysts who viewed this as a sign of support to the repressive post-coup order.

However, US Senator and chairman of the Senate's subcommittee in charge of overseeing foreign aid Patrick Leahy said Tuesday he would not approve the decision to deliver financial aid to the Egyptian army, citing the "sham trials" being held in Egypt.

"I'm not prepared to sign off on the delivery of additional aid for the Egyptian military," he said in a speech. "I'm not prepared to do that until we see convincing evidence the government is committed to the rule of law."

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AfricaAsia & AmericasEgyptNewsUS
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