Kerry touts need for 'meaningful compromises'
US Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed K. Amr on March 2, 2013 in Cairo
March 2nd, 2013
03:57 PM ET

Kerry touts need for 'meaningful compromises'

By Jill Dougherty and Joe Sterling

Secretary of State John Kerry, speaking to reporters in Egypt on Saturday, said "there must be a willingness on all sides" in Egypt to make "meaningful compromises on the issues that matter most to all of the Egyptian people."

And, Kerry said, Egyptians must stay focused on economic and political opportunities to succeed in forging a successful democracy. The United States wants to help all it can but not interfere in Egypt's affairs.

"We come here as friends," Kerry said - not as proponents of a particular group, person or ideology.

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Secretary Kerry sees "urgent" need to revive Egyptian economy
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry poses with Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi after their meeting in Cairo, on March 2, 2013.
March 2nd, 2013
01:20 PM ET

Secretary Kerry sees "urgent" need to revive Egyptian economy

By CNN's Jill Dougherty

At a roundtable with business leaders in Cairo, Secretary of State John Kerry said it is "paramount, essential, urgent that the Egyptian economy get stronger, that it get back on its feet."

Sidestepping political divisions that are holding back reform, Kerry said he was not supporting any party or any political view.

He said that in order for the economy to revive, there needs to be a sense of security and "an IMF agreement needs to be reached," he told the business leaders.

Sunday, when he meets with Egyptian president Mohamed Morsy, Kerry said he will speak about "very specific ways" in which President Obama wants to engage, including economic assistance, support for private business, increasing Egyptian exports to the U.S. and investing in Egypt's people through education.

He said he has spoken with the leaders of Great Britain, France, Germany and Turkey and all want to be helpful "but all of them believe Egypt must make some fundamental economic choices."

Aid experts warn U.S. aid to Syrian rebels blurs lines
March 2nd, 2013
12:50 PM ET

Aid experts warn U.S. aid to Syrian rebels blurs lines

By Allison Brennan and Elise Labott

The decision by the Obama administration to provide nonlethal aid to Syrian rebel forces seeking to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad is drawing fire from some in the aid community, saying it politicizes aid and violates principles of neutrality which governs aid delivery.

Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday announced the United States would give aid to armed opposition, including medical supplies and meals. The aid marks the first signs of direct and vocal American support for the rebels in the nearly two-year bloody conflict, which the UN estimates has claimed more than 70,000 lives and forced millions more from their homes.

Washington hopes the aid will bolster the credibility of the Syrian opposition, peel away supporters from al-Assad and curb a growing allegiance to radical Islamic groups gaining favor among the population by providing basic services to citizens in rebel-controlled areas.

But some aid workers worry al-Assad’s regime could punish all humanitarian groups for the U.S. decision, thus hampering efforts to deliver aid. FULL POST

March 2nd, 2013
11:08 AM ET

US foreign aid on budget chopping block

CNN's Elise Labott looks at how U.S. foreign aid could be affected by the forced spending cuts.

Welcome to the 'new Egypt,' Mr. Secretary
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry disembarks from a plane upon arrival in Cairo, on March 2, 2013.
March 2nd, 2013
08:39 AM ET

Welcome to the 'new Egypt,' Mr. Secretary

By Jill Dougherty

Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Cairo at a critical stage as political divisions are preventing crucial economic reform.

In an intense 24-hours on the ground, Kerry has a packed schedule of meetings with Egypt's political and military leadership, business leaders and non-governmental organizations.

"It is very important to the new Egypt for there to be a firm economic foundation on which the new Egypt can operate. It will be important for the government to make an agreement with the [International Monetary Fund]," explains a senior State Department official who briefed reporters on Kerry's plane as he flew from Ankara, Turkey, to Cairo. FULL POST