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American Forces Press Service

Panetta Commends Egyptian Military for Supporting Elections

By Cheryl Pellerin
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 25, 2012 – Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta commends Egyptian Field Marshal Mohamed Tantawi, the country’s top military officer, and his staff for supporting a secure, free and fair election in Egypt, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said today.

Egypt's election commission announced June 24 that Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Morsi won the presidential runoff over Ahmed Shafiq, the last prime minister under deposed leader Hosni Mubarak.

Little said the secretary placed two phone calls to Tantawi, head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, late last week to express his desire for the Egyptian military to support a free and fair election, “and that’s precisely what occurred.”

Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke this morning with his Egyptian counterpart, Lt. Gen. Sami Hafez Enan, Little added.

“The tenor of all these discussions has been to express a desire to encourage the Egyptian military to support the democratic process,” the press secretary said, “and we’ve seen what’s occurred in Egypt.”

Egypt has an enduring role as a security partner and leader in promoting regional stability, “and we look forward to working with the new government on a host of issues," Little told reporters last week.

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