Hillary Clinton Meets Egypt’s New President, Supports ‘Full Transition’

US secretary of state held her first meeting with Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi in Cairo to say that the US supports the full transition to civilian rule.

Hillary Clinton said she is for a “full transition to civilian rule” in Egypt, after the meeting with Egypt’s new Islamist president on Saturday. Photo: The Telegraph

“The United States supports the full transition to civilian rule with all that entails,” Clinton announced at a conference after her meeting with Morsi.

“But there is more work ahead. And I think the issues around the parliament, the constitution have to be resolved between and among Egyptians.”

She went on, saying: “I will look forward to discussing these issues tomorrow with Field Marshal Tantawi and in working to support the military’s return to a purely national security role.”

Talks at the presidential palace is the first ones in a series of high-level meetings aimed at stabilizing Egypt’s democratic transition and its alliance with the United States, once rock-solid but now increasingly shaky.

US Secretary of State and new Egypt’s president didn’t shake hands, and their initial greeting was the subject of speculation because of Morsi’s Muslim faith.

“Things change (at) kind of warped speed,” Clinton told Morsi. The president welcomed his guest: “We are very very keen to meet you and happy that you are here.”

Mursi, of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, was elected last month in the country’s first freely contested leadership vote, reports BBC.

In the presidential election, Morsy eclipsed Ahmed Shafik – the last prime minister to serve Mubarak – winning nearly 52% of the votes cast.

After the results were announced, new Egypt’s president resigned from the Muslim Brotherhood and its Freedom and Justice Party to send a message that he will represent all Egyptians.

Clinton praised Egypt’s military council for its interim leadership, “for representing the Egyptian people in the revolution as compared to what we are seeing in Syria which is the military murdering their own people”.

Hillary advised Mursi ‘to live up to promises to protect the rights of women and minorities, and to preserve the peace treaty with Israe’l.

She also held a meeting with the head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, CNN reports.

The Secretary of State urged Egypt’s armed forces, which assumed power after last year’s revolution, to return “to a purely national security role”.

During the one-hour talks the sides have discussed the political transition and the military ruling council’s ongoing dialogue with Morsy, said a senior State Department official, who wished to remain anonymous.

The insider told reporters that one of the issue became an economic package that was detailed a day earlier by Clinton.

The Secretary of State announced that President Obama plans to relieve up to $1 billion in Egyptian debt and help foster innovation, growth and job creation.

Clinton also highlighted the importance of protecting the right of all Egyptians, including women and minorities. However, the official said nothing about Tantawi’s reaction.

Last week Clinton urged Egypt’s leaders to settle their differences and to come to the conclusion for the good of the nation, explaining that both the president and the military needed to work together to avoid derailing Egypt’s democratic transition.

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