Clinton urges Egypt to complete transition to democracy
US secretary of state Hillary Clinton used her high-profile visit to Egypt to meet its new President Mohammed Morsi and military chief Hussein Tantawi and urged the two adversaries to work towards a democratic nation.
Clinton arrived in Cairo on Saturday and met Mohamed Morsi before meeting Hussein Tantawi a day later.
On Saturday, President Morsi welcomed Hillary Clinton to Egypt saying: “We are very, very keen to meet you and happy you are here.” Clinton accepted Morsi’s hospitality with her own promise of “the strong support of the United States for the Egyptian people and their democratic transition”.
She, however, acknowledged that the country’s transition to democracy was not in the hands of the US but civilians themselves.
She said: “We want to be a good partner and we want to support the democracy that has been achieved by the courage and sacrifice of the Egyptian people […]. We are encouraged and we want to be helpful. But we know it is not for the United States it is for the Egyptian people to decide.”
The supporters of old regime, however, were unsupportive of Clinton’s views as they gathered outside her five-star hotel to protest against her visit, chanting: “Get out Hillary. We don’t want the Muslim Brotherhood.”
The civilian President has been in constant power struggle ever since he took office two weeks ago, after what was regarded as the country’s first relatively free and fair presidential election.
The army moved to limit the power of the president during the election and dissolved the parliament before issuing a decree that restricted the president’s power.
Morsi, however, responded to their action by issuing his own decree re-instating the Islamist-led parliament just days after he was in power.
The continued rivalry between the two has been an ongoing threat to the country’s government to run the nation as their fragile economy is on a steep decline heading towards the budget crisis.