by Barbara Starr
General Martin Dempsey, the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, will travel to Cairo later this week for what top aides are saying is a 'long planned' visit with his military counterparts.
The visit comes at a time of crisis between the two countries with to warnings that $1.3 billion in US aid is at jeapardy while Egypt is holding a number of US citizens working for non profit organizations.
Col David Lapan, Dempsey's spokesman, told CNN the fate of the Americans is not a specific item on Dempsey's agenda, and he is not going to Egypt with the idea of pressing for their release, though he expects the issue to come up. “He will discuss common interests, choices and consequences,” Lapan said.
Col Lapan said Dempsey will not present any ultimatums to the Egyptian military on the Americans being detained but will suggest that the Egyptians be aware US aid is at risk. “He will say you have choices and there are consequences to those choices.”
When asked by CNN if Dempsey was prepared to bring the Americans out of Egypt Lapan said “"I cannot comment on what we may or may not do if that happens."