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Clinton pledges stronger counterterrorism for Egypt

The U.S. is vowing to improve counterterrorism cooperation with Egypt after 16 Egyptian soldiers were killed by suspected Islamist militants.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton expressed her condolences in a telephone conversation with Prime Minister Hesham Kandil. She voiced support for the Egyptian government’s efforts to strengthen security.

State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said Mrs. Clinton stressed that “violent extremism poses a threat to Egyptians, Egypt’s neighbors and Americans alike,” and that Mrs. Clinton committed to strengthening U.S. counterterrorism efforts with Egypt.

The attack near Egypt’s borders with Israel and Gaza highlighted the deteriorating security since last year’s revolution.

Mrs. Clinton said the U.S. is steadfastly committed to Israel’s security.

She said people in the region would be reassured when Egypt’s new Islamist government establishes working relations with its neighbors.

From wire dispatches and staff reports