Cairo,  17 Jumadil Akhir 1434/26 April 2013 (MINA) – US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel arrived in Cairo on Wednesday (24/4) for talks expected to focus on the Syrian conflict and Iran, said Egyptian officials.

        Hagel was to meet with military and civilian officials during his visit to Egypt, part of a five-nation regional tour, added the officials, according to Turkish Weekly reports monitored Mi’raj News Agency (MINA).

       Hagel is to hold talks Wednesday with Egyptian Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and President Mohamed Morsi.

       The officials plan to discuss defense ties between the two countries, as well as Egypt’s transition following the 2011 ouster of former president Hosni Mubarak.

       Previously, during the first stop on a five-nation tour as he met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Hagel said that allies need to remain “closer than ever” as challenges in the Middle East become more complicated.

        The trip follows a U.S. government announcement that it would permit the sale of $10 billion worth of advanced American weapons to Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

        After closing three days of talks in Israel, Hagel also traveled to Jordan and Saudi Arabia for meetings on Tuesday that included discussion of the situation in Syria and challenges related to Iran’s nuclear program.(T/P03/E1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)

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