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Originally published Sunday, February 19, 2012 at 6:56 AM

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US Sen. McCain says relations with Egypt changing

U.S. Sen. John McCain says the nature of America's partnership with Egypt is changing a year after the ouster of Hosni Mubarak but stressed that the two countries "must remain friends."

The Associated Press

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CAIRO —

U.S. Sen. John McCain says the nature of America's partnership with Egypt is changing a year after the ouster of Hosni Mubarak but stressed that the two countries "must remain friends."

McCain's comments Monday to a Cairo business conference reflected the growing strain in the relations between the two allies. Egypt referred 16 Americans and 27 others to a criminal trial in a politically charged case against foreign-funded pro-democracy groups. Washington has threatened to cut $1.5 billion in aid over the spat.

McCain chairs the International Republican Institute - one of four U.S.-based groups under investigation - and is also the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

He spoke just before meetings with Egypt's military leaders who took over after Mubarak.

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