CAIRO (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry says that U.S.-Egypt relations should not be defined by assistance.

At a joint news conference following a meeting with Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy, Kerry said that the suspension of aid to Egypt is not a punishment. He was referring to the legal requirements for withholding more than $1 billion in assistance after the Egyptian military in July toppled the democratically elected government.

The unannounced trip is Kerry's first visit to Egypt since the military's action.

Kerry acknowledged "difficult challenges" and "turbulent years" but urged Egyptians to continue their "march to democracy."