Pentagon chiefs call Egypt's new military chiefs

August 14, 2012 - 3:49 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Top Pentagon leaders say have talked by phone with their new Egyptian counterparts and are hoping to continue the longtime military relationship between Washington and Cairo.

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi shook up his nation's military over the weekend, replacing two men who'd had strong working relationships with the Pentagon.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey talked Tuesday with their replacements for the first time. Panetta noted that the new defense chief, Lt. Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi expressed his commitment to the Egypt-Israel peace accords. El-Sissi also promised Panetta that he would not allow the Sinai to become a staging ground for militants. Sixteen Egyptian soldiers were killed in the Egyptian region on the southern Israeli border by militants last week.