(CBS News) In the first visit by a senior U.S. official since the Egyptian army ousted President Mohammed Morsi twelve days ago,arrived in Egypt on Sunday, and is expected to hold high-level talks in Cairo on Monday.
On Monday, thousands of Islamist Morsi supporters continued their public protests of Egypt's new military-backed government, as Morsi remains under house arrest nearly two weeks after being ousted on July 3.
CBS News' Margaret Brennan reports that the main objective of Burns' visit is to pressure Egypt's military leaders to hold prompt and democratic elections, in order to move toward a civilian government and to maintain stability.
Burns will also push for Morsi's release and appeal for an end to what the U.S. has called politically motivated attacks in the region. Since the military takeover, 92 people have been killed in clashes between demonstrators and security forces -- many of them supporters of the former president.
The deteriorating state of Egyptian political affairs is of growing concern to American leaders, who must decide whether to continue to provide more than $1 billion in military financing to Egypt's armed forces. The aid commitment is in part to guarantee that Egypt maintains its peace treaty with Israel.
On Sunday's "Face the Nation," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated the the importance of maintaining American aid to Egypt.
"Our concern is the peace treaty with Egypt," Netanyahu told "Face the Nation" host Bob Schieffer. "One of the foundations of that peace treaty was the U.S. aid given to Egypt."
The Obama Administration is under mounting pressure to remind Egyptian leaders that the remainder of its annual aid could depend on their actions in the coming weeks.called for the administration to "suspend assistance" on Sunday, in order to encourage democratic change.