Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel arrived in Egypt Wednesday for talks with top Egyptian officials, including President Morsi and top military officials.
On his first trip to the Middle East as Pentagon leader, visiting Egypt is seen as the administration’s way of continuing military talks with the newly established post-Mubarak government.
Hagel began his Middle East tour landing in Israel and spending two days with Defense Minister Moshe Yallon. Both men have recently began their positions as military leaders. Hagel’s stop in Israel is an important gesture by the U.S. government as Hagel faced a grueling confirmation hearing after making comments regarding the influence of the “Jewish lobby” on Capitol Hill.
Hagel has already visited Jordan and will follow with stops in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. He is expected to return at the end of the week.