Clinton to Egypt: Lift emergency laws soon

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says Egypt's military leaders should lift the country's emergency laws as soon as possible.

Egypt's interim government recently extended the Hosni Mubarak-era laws into the middle of 2012. But Clinton says the U.S. hopes to see the laws lifted sooner so a democratic system of checks and balances can be established.

Clinton spoke Wednesday after meeting with Egyptian Foreign Minister Muhammed Amr.

She voiced support for Egypt's attempts to defuse tensions with Israel after protesters recently stormed the Israeli Embassy in Cairo.

The pair said they discussed investment opportunities in Egypt and Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

Amr criticized Israeli settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, and urged resumption in negotiations as soon as possible "with clear terms of reference and a clear timeline."