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Clinton Talks Democratic Reforms in Egypt


US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meeting with Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf in Cairo, March 16, 2011

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meeting with Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf in Cairo, March 16, 2011

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is wrapping up a two-day visit to Egypt that included meetings with officials of a transitional ruling body and a veteran diplomat running for president.

Clinton toured Cairo's Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the pro-democracy uprising that led to last month's resignation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Clinton said visiting the square was a "great reminder of the power of the human spirit and desire for freedom and human rights and democracy."

She was welcomed by Egyptian citizens and shook hands with passersby in the square before meeting with Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf.

Before leaving for Tunisia on Wednesday, Clinton was set to meet with Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa. Moussa, 74, is a veteran Egyptian diplomat and has announced his candidacy for the country's presidency.

Clinton also met with pro-democracy activists and members of Egypt's civil society. She is the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit Egypt since the anti-government protests.

Clinton arrived in Cairo Tuesday after attending a Group of Eight foreign ministers' meeting in Paris.

After wrapping up talks in Egypt, she travels to Tunisia - the starting point of the pro-democracy movement that has swept through much of the Middle East and North Africa this year.

Dozens of Tunisians took to the streets in Tunis on Wednesday to protest against Clinton's visit. The demonstrators said they oppose foreign intervention in their country.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

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