(Reuters) – Egypt on Tuesday urged U.S. authorities to exercise restraint in dealing with racially charged demonstrations in Ferguson, Missouri – echoing language Washington used to caution Egypt as it cracked down on Islamist protesters last year.

It is unusual for Egypt  to criticize such a major donor, and it was not immediately clear why the government would have taken such a step.

Ties between Washington and Cairo were strained after Egyptian security forces killed hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood supporters following the army’s ousting of freely elected President Mohamed Mursi in July 2013.

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