The U.S. has held its highest contacts to date with Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood.
The State Department says its No. 2 official, William Burns, met with several political groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, in the Egyptian capital on Wednesday.
Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland says it was a chance to reinforce U.S. expectations that Egypt's parties support human rights, women's rights and religious tolerance.
The U.S. largely shunned the Muslim Brotherhood movement when U.S.-allied dictator Hosni Mubarak was in power.
The Muslim Brotherhood is Egypt's best organized party and was the biggest winner of parliamentary elections. Burns didn't meet with Egypt's more radical Salafists.