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Clinton meets Egypt president Morsi

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton used her first meeting with Egypt's new Islamist president to press Mohammed Morsi to start a dialogue with military leaders as a way of preserving the country's transition to democracy.

Mrs Clinton voiced support for the "full transition" to civilian rule at a time when Mr Morsi's backers are in a political stand-off with the generals who have ruled since former president Hosni Mubarak was ousted last year.

Resolving the impasse "requires dialogue and compromise, real politics," Mrs Clinton said. She added the US is doing all it can to "support the democratically-elected government and to help make it a success in delivering results for the people of Egypt".

The meeting at the presidential palace kicked off a series of high-level sessions aimed at stabilising Egypt's fledgling democracy and its alliance with the United States, once rock-solid but now increasingly shaky.

"Things change (at) kind of warp speed," Mrs Clinton told Mr Morsi as they began their meeting.

Mrs Clinton and Mr Morsi did not shake hands, at least when they first appeared before reporters - a subject of much speculation because of Mr Morsi's Muslim faith. But the president shook hands with Mrs Clinton and the entire US delegation behind closed doors, according to a US official.

The president, speaking in English, said, "We are very, very keen to meet you and happy that you are here."

Mr Morsi is in a showdown with the generals since at least ceremonially gaining power on June 30. Right before his inauguration, the generals retained stripped him of many powers and kept them for themselves.

The US has been careful not to take sides, focusing on principles instead of personalities and parties. The Obama administration has called on all sides to negotiate a path forward that remains faithful to the ideals of Egypt's 2011 revolution.

Appearing at a news conference alongside Egyptian foreign minister Mohamed Amr, Mrs Clinton said it was up to Egyptians to determine their future.

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