News / Middle East

Clinton Promises Support, Money to New Egyptian Government

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Elaraby conduct a press conference Tuesday March 15, 2011, inside Tahrir Palace in Cairo.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Elaraby conduct a press conference Tuesday March 15, 2011, inside Tahrir Palace in Cairo.
Elizabeth Arrott

U.S Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Egypt on Tuesday for talks with members of the country's new government as well as Egypt's emerging civil society.  One of the key issues on Clinton's agenda is economic aid.

Secretary of State Clinton came with words of encouragement and praise for the people of Egypt.  "This moment of history belongs to you.  That this is your achievement.  You broke barriers and overcame obstacles to pursue the dream of democracy.  And the United States and President Obama and I will stand with you as you make this journey," she said.

To help that journey along, Clinton promised financial as well as political support.  After meeting her Egyptian counterpart Nabil Elaraby, she announced a series of aid packages:  $90 million in near-term economic assistance;  $80 million toward insuring letters of credit, plus a new U.S.-Egypt Enterprise Fund and an increase in special duty-free investment zones.

Clinton is the highest ranking Obama administration official to visit Egypt since demonstrations forced out the previous government last month.

Egypt's new Foreign Minister Elaraby said he welcomed the chance to discuss a wide range of issues with the U.S. secretary of state. "We discussed everything in Egypt, in the Middle East in general, specifically in Libya.  We discussed matters relating to Palestine between us also.  And I think we did, at least on our part, we appreciated very much the responses from the Secretary of State.  We are appreciative and we hope the very close relations with the United States will continue to flourish in the future," he said.

The events in neighboring Libya have overshadowed much of Clinton's tour, which began in Paris on Monday and continues on to Tunisia on Wednesday.  Clinton made reference to continued discussions about a possible no-fly zone over Libya to protect opponents of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, even as the time for such cover to be effective might be slipping away.  She also called for restraint on all sides in Bahrain, where Saudi-led forces came to the aid of the ruling family this week.

A State Department official said Clinton conveyed her deep concern about the violence in Bahrain in a telephone conversation with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud earlier in the day.  In addition to meetings with government officials, Clinton is set to meet with representatives of the activists behind Egypt's demonstrations and their advisors on Tuesday and Wednesday.

One of those advisors, Hisham Kassem, welcomed the idea of U.S. financial assistance to Egypt.  But he said he would like to see it tied to political reforms in Cairo. "If this was to be in packages where there are free elections, 20 percent of the debt is taken off.  Security sector reform?  You take off another.  Judicial reform, etc, until you know there is the possibility to scratch the debts completely," he said.

While Kassem said he is looking forward to speaking with Clinton, some youth groups rejected the invitation to meet with the U.S. diplomat.  They pointed to the initial reluctance of the United States to back their movement and a perceived hesitancy in U.S. policy toward other reform movements in the Arab world.

You May Like

Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Feasts centering on turkeys with an array of traditional sides and desserts are part of the holiday's traditions, which falls on the fourth Thursday in November More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Paradei
X
Anush Avetisyan
November 26, 2014 10:57 PM
Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid