Readout of Secretary Panetta’s Conversation with Egyptian Defense Minister Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi , Sept. 14, 2012

Washington, DC–(ENEWSPF)–September 14, 2012.  Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs George Little provided the following readout:

Today the Secretary of Defense called Egyptian Minister of Defense Al-Sisi to reaffirm mutual commitment to the defense relationship between the United States and Egypt and underscore the importance of ensuring the safety and security of the U.S. diplomatic mission.  Minister Al-Sisi reassured Secretary Panetta that Egypt remains committed to the defense relationship, which is a cornerstone of the U.S.-Egypt strategic partnership.  In light of ongoing protests in Egypt, Minister Al-Sisi reiterated Egypt’s commitment to secure U.S. diplomatic facilities and personnel.  The Secretary condemned efforts to denigrate Islam, expressed his support for peaceful protests, and thanked Minister Al-Sisi for his Ministry’s efforts to protect U.S. diplomats and facilities in Cairo.  Secretary Panetta made clear that violence against basic freedoms such as freedom of religion and speech are unacceptable, and that there is never any justification for violence against innocents and acts that endanger U.S. personnel and facilities.