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US Navy and Marines Dispatched to Red Sea: Washington asserts its authority in Egypt

US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns arrived in Cairo for two days of talks with the leaders of Egypt’s new military-backed government, amid reports that the US Navy has dispatched ships and Marines to the Red Sea Coast.

Burns met interim President Adly Mansour and Prime Minister Hazem al-Beblawi. His visit was marked by mass protests by supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and deposed President Mohamed Mursi, chanting “Down with the military regime! Down with the dictator! President Mursi, no one else!”

Last Thursday, Reuters stated that two US Navy ships patrolling in the Middle East had been moved closer to Egypt’s coast in recent days, citing Marine Corps Commandant General James Amos’ conversation with the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank.

“Egypt is [in] a crisis right now,” Amos said. “When that happens, what we owe the senior leadership of our nation are some options.”

Amos said the USS San Antonio, an amphibious transport dock, and the USS Kearsarge, an amphibious assault ship, had moved further north in the Red Sea to make the movement of helicopters and other equipment easier. “Why? Because we don’t know what’s going to happen,” he said.