By Larry Shaughnessy
The U.S. secretary of defense arrived in Cairo Tuesday for his first meeting with the first democratically elected president in Egypt's history.
Afterward Leon Panetta had positive words for Mohammed Morsy, who represented the Muslim Brotherhood in the election.
"I was convinced that Morsy is his own man, and he is the president of all of the Egyptian people and that he is truly committed to implementing democratic reforms here in Egypt," Panetta said.
The meeting with Morsy was a top priority for this leg of Panetta's week-long trip to North Africa and the Middle East.
By Elise Labott
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Monday the desert border between Israel and Egypt could become an "operational base" for jihadists if security is not maintained. Israel has raised concerns about the region in the wake of the fall of the Mubarak government.
In an interview with CNN, Clinton said the problem was discussed at length during her meetings in Egypt and Israel.
There is "the potential of jihadists and terrorists taking up an operational base in Sinai," Clinton said in the interview. "We think this is a dangerous situation for both Egypt and Israel. It is also dangerous for Americans. We have Americans who are part of the multinational force that observes the continuation of the monitoring (of the) Camp David Accord. We have Americans in the Sinai. We've had a few concerns about their safety."
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met Sunday with the head of Egypt's military leadership, a day after she urged the country's first democratically elected president to "assert the full authority" of his office.
Clinton's meeting with Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, held out of the view of reporters, came amid a political tug of war between President Mohamed Morsy and the military council that Tantawi heads.
Elise Labott assesses Hillary Clinton's diplomatic mission to Egypt following the secretary of state's meeting with the military.