Secretary of State John Kerry met with Egypt's foreign minister Nabil Fahmy on Sunday -- the highest level visit from the U.S. since President Muhamad Mursi's removal.

He said Cairo was a vital partner - apparently trying to repair ties, which are strained by the partial freeze in U.S. --- following athe coup that ousted Mursi.

SOUNDBITE: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry saying:

"We want to help. We're prepared to do so. And the way it will unfold as democracy is rekindled in its strength and as the people of Egypt make their choices in the future, I am confident the United States of America will be able to stand with you, and do even more."

Fahmy also indicated an intent to restore democracy.


"I'd like to see the roadmap completed within the nine to twelve months time period that it's set to deliver. And that creates the institutions of a democratic government. I think if we succeed in doing that, three to five years you'd have a mature democracy.

But Egypt may have to look beyond the U.S. to meet its security needs.


"… the relationship is much deeper than aid or no aid and it has to be looked at as a strategic relationship rather than a tactical one... B ut there's no question in our mind that we will fulfil our national security needs as they are required from whatever source we need."

Kerry also called on Egypt to make its trials more transparent. The Secretary visit comes just a day before Mursi is due to appear in court on charges of inciting violence.