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Rice Meets Mubarak in Egypt, Voices Concern Over Referendum


U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has met with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak for talks on democracy in Egypt and regional issues.

The two met in the southern Egyptian city of Aswan Sunday.

Following their talks, Rice voiced concern about Monday's referendum to include tough anti-terrorism laws in Egypt's constitution. Opposition groups say the amendments would be a setback for basic freedoms in Egypt and strengthen the ruling party's grip on power.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit, who also met with Rice, defended the proposed laws, saying Egypt's security is its own responsibility.

Rice also discussed regional issues with the Egyptian officials and said she appreciates Egypt's support in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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