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Kerry Arrives In Saudi Arabia After Releasing Aid to Egypt

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has arrived in Saudi Arabia's capital, Riyadh, after a stop in Cairo where he pledged renewed financial assistance to Egypt.

During a meeting with Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi on Sunday, Kerry said the U.S. will provide $190 million immediately as part of a larger $450 million assistance package to spur crucial economic reforms. He also said Washington will give an additional $60 million for a new enterprise fund to support Egyptian entrepreneurs and young people.

For his part, Mr. Morsi gave assurances that Cairo will implement political and economic reforms to help stabilize his bitterly divided country.

Mr. Morsi also promised to finalize an agreement with the International Monetary Fund on a $4.8 billion loan package that has languished for months. Egypt's finance minister said he expects a deal to be reached with the IMF before parliamentary elections in April.

Cairo's central Tahrir Square became turbulent again Sunday evening as protesters demanding reforms clashed with security forces and set fire to at least two cars. Protesters also clashed with security in the troubled city of Port Said. Military officials say one policeman was killed in the clashes and dozens of people were injured.

They say one security officer was among the injured. He was shot in the leg. Protesters in the coastal city were angered at the decision by authorities to move prisoners awaiting a verdict for alleged involvement in football violence last year. More than 20 defendants were sentenced to death in January in connection with 2012 football riots that killed about 70 people.

Kerry said he had come to support the Egyptian people and not to take sides in the country's ongoing political conflict. He held phone talks with Mohamed ElBaradei, one of the leaders of the country's main opposition coalition, the National Salvation Front.

President Morsi's liberal and secular opponents, including the NSF, say they are planning to boycott the parliamentary elections.


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