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By Aditya Tejas
The United States reopened its embassy in Cairo, as an administration official was due to arrive to begin talks with the nation’s new leaders.
The embassy had been closed to the public for two weeks, due to widespread protests. The unrest came in response to the overthrow of the country’s first democratically elected leader, Mohammed Morsi, by the military. The center of the protests was Tahrir Square, a location also key in the 2011 protests that overthrew former president Hosni Mubarak.
Activity in the vicinity of the embassy was dying down before Monday, as US Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns prepared to hold talks with the interim civilian government and business leaders.
Burns, whose two-day trip began on Sunday, will “underscore U.S. support for the Egyptian people, an end to all violence, and a transition leading to an inclusive, democratically elected civilian government,” the State Department said in a statement.
He is the first senior administration official to visit the country since Morsi’s overthrow.
The embassy warned further protests were still possible and urged US citizens in Egypt to avoid areas that may host large gatherings.
“Even demonstrations or events intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence,” the embassy wrote on its website. “U.S. citizens in Egypt are urged to monitor local news reports and to plan their activities accordingly.”
The State Department has also advised citizens to delay non-essential travel to the country. Following Morsi’s overthrew, the US ordered the evacuation of non-essential embassy staff and their families.