Conflict & Justice

Hillary Clinton holds talks with Egyptian military leaders in Cairo


Field Marshal Mohamed Tantawi walks with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to a meeting at the Ministry of Defense on July 15, 2012 in Cairo, Egypt.



Hillary Clinton has held meetings with influential Egyptian leaders, including newly inaugurated Islamist President Mohamed Morsi and military leaders, in Cairo, according to news reports.

The US Secretary of State was meeting Sunday in Cairo with top military commander Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the country's interim leader after the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak.

Upon arriving in Egypt on Saturday, Clinton declared that the US "supports the full transition to civilian rule with all that entails," the New York Times reported.

She added that she looked forward to working "to support the military’s return to a purely national security role."

According to Bloomberg, tensions between Morsi — of the Muslim Brotherhood — and the country's senior generals have risen since the military council — headed by Tantawi — stripped the civilian leader of some powers and granted itself legislative authority.

Further, "Egypt still has no constitution, a new government has yet to be named and the economy is struggling to recover from the uprising against Mubarak," Bloomberg wrote.

Clinton has not commented directly on the military’s "power grab," instead stressing that the country's future is for its citizens to decide.

The Associated Press cited a senior State Department official as saying that Clinton and Tantawi met for more than an hour.

"They discussed the political transition and the [military council's] ongoing dialogue with President Morsi," the official reportedly said on condition of anonymity.

"The secretary stressed the importance of protecting the rights of all Egyptians, including women and minorities."

The two also reportedly discussed Egypt's economic needs and discussed US aid.

Clinton has announced a $60 million enterprise fund for small and medium-sized businesses and $250 million in private-sector loan guarantees.

She was scheduled to meet with Egypt's Christian leaders and women leaders before departing for Israel.

According to Bloomberg,  a crowd of about 6,000 people crowded the street in front of Clinton’s hotel, setting off fireworks, chanting and waving Egyptian flags.

Placard reflected both anti-American and anti-Brotherhood sentiment, with one reading "Go to hell, Hillary" and another "You like the Islamists, Hillary? Take them with you."

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