U.S. Secretary of Defense Calls New Egyptian President 'His Own Man'
Leon Panetta has positive words for man who represented the Muslim Brotherhood
Larry Shaughnessy CNN Pentagon Producer
July 31, 2012(CNN) -- The U.S. secretary of defense arrived in Cairo Tuesday for his first meeting with the first democratically elected president in Egypt's history.
Afterward Leon Panetta had positive words for Mohammed Morsy, who represented the Muslim Brotherhood in the election.
"I was convinced that Morsy is his own man, and he is the president of all of the Egyptian people and that he is truly committed to implementing democratic reforms here in Egypt," Panetta said.
The meeting with Morsy was a top priority for this leg of Panetta's week-long trip to North Africa and the Middle East.
Panetta also met with Egypt's long-time top military leader, Field Marshal Muhammad Tantawi, who is playing a key role in the transition from the Mubarak regime to elected government.
"Based on what I've seen and the discussions I've had ... President Morsy and Field Marshal Tantawi have a very good relationship and are working together towards the same end," Panetta told reporters traveling with him on the trip.
One of the issues not on the table in the Cairo meeting was additional arms sales to Egypt. That's because sales have been arranged in previous meetings and the more important issue is getting the transition to democracy sorted out once and for all.