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US urges restraint from Egypt military chief

US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel at the Pentagon Auditorium on June 25, 2013 in Washington, DC
US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel at the Pentagon Auditorium on June 25, 2013 in Washington, DC. Hagel on Tuesday again called on Egypt's military to show restraint in the wake of often deadly protests.

US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Tuesday again called on Egypt's military to show restraint in the wake of often deadly protests.

Hagel spoke to General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi by telephone after EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton paid a first-of-a-kind visit to ousted president Mohamed Morsi.

Hagel spoke to Sisi "to discuss the security situation in Egypt and urge restraint by Egyptian security forces in dealing with ongoing protests," Pentagon spokesman George Little said.

The two spoke about Ashton's visit and "the need for an inclusive reconciliation process," Little said.

The United States has repeatedly urged restraint by Egypt's military since its July 3 ouster of Morsi, an Islamist who was the nation's first democratically elected leader.

But the United States has refused to use the term coup, a designation that would require a cutoff in US aid, even after the killing of 82 people in a pro-Morsi protest on Saturday.

Ashton said she was able to see Morsi and that he was doing well. The ousted president has not been seen in public since he was toppled.

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