Updated November 3, 2013, 1:47 p.m.
United States Secretary of State John Kerry met with an Egyptian government official Sunday, hoping to repair tense relations between the U.S. and Egypt and vowing to defend friendly Arab nations from outside attacks.
Kerry is the highest-ranking White House official to visit Cairo since the U.S. cut military aid following a military coup that ousted former president Mohammed Morsi on July 3rd. He sat down with Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy to talk about mending the longtime partnership between the two nations, the Associated Press reports.
Kerry said the suspension of foreign aid was “not a punishment” and the countries’ relationship should not be defined by American support.
He also addressed Syria, noting that the U.S. shares the same goal of restoring the war-torn country, as well as Iran, which he said the president has pledged to never let obtain nuclear weapons.
Egyptian authorities also announced Sunday that the venue for Morsi’s trial, which begins Monday, along with 14 others has been moved to an eastern suburb of the capital city. The former leader has been charged with inciting violence and murder during clashes on December 5th at the presidential palace. The Muslim Brotherhood, which Morsi led, had planned to protest the hearing. It was also announced that the trial would not be televised.