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US expresses concern over Egyptian court system

Washington : US Secretary of State John Kerry Tuesday stressed on the US ties with Egypt while voicing concern about Egyptian court system following Monday’s death sentence to hundreds of people.

The top American envoy referred to the most populous Arab country “a very important strategic partner” of the US, with common interests in the region’s stability, counterterrorism and peace with Israel.

“Historically Egypt has always played a central role in the region and in our efforts to maintain the peace process, as well as the stability of the region itself,” Xinhua quoted Kerry as telling reporters before meeting Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy at the US State Department.

As the Egyptians go to polls next month to choose a new president, Kerry called for “a political process of inclusivity” and a constitution implemented to broaden the “democratic base” of the country.

He spoke of “disturbing decisions” made in Egypt’s court system, saying it has “raised serious challenges for all of us.”

An Egyptian court handed down a separate death sentence to 529 and 683 members and supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood last month and Monday, prompting Washington to urge the country to stop this practice.

The Obama administration has decided to relax a partial suspension of aid, imposed after the Egyptian military removed president Mohamed Morsi of the Brotherhood from power in July last year and started a crackdown on protesters, by delivering 10 Apache attack helicopters and $650 million in aid.