United States pledges $450 million for Egypt economy

  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has pledged $450 million to back support Egypt's ailing economy but warned Cairo that "more hard work" was required.

    Kerry's comments came after talks in the Egyptian capital with President Mohammed Morsi on Sunday.

    He also urged the Egyptian government to reach a deal regarding a $4.8 billion International Monetary Fund loan that could lead to further U.S. funds.

    Kerry's visit to Cairo is part of first overseas trip as secretary of state, which will see him visit 11 countries in Europe and the Middle East.

    Kerry also pushed Morsi to guarantee that next month's elections would be "free, fair and transparent".

    The secular National Salvation Front, the county’s main opposition group, have boycotted the elections over claims that electoral laws support allies of Morsi.

    The elections are to be held because in December Egyptians voted in favor of a new constitution, which requires that the process begin within two months.

    The last elections in January 2012, saw the political wing of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), secure 43 percent of the seats in the lower house and 59 percent of the seats in the Shura Council.

    However, six months later, the lower house was dissolved after the Supreme Constitutional Court ruled that one of the laws under which the elections were fought was not legitimate.

    View Map of Cairo city in Egypt