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

    Video Twists and Turns Aplenty in US Presidential Race

    Even as Americans pause for this week’s Memorial Day holiday, much attention is focused on the presidential contest

    China's Education Reforms Spark Protest

    Beijing is putting a quota system in place to increase the number of students from poor regions attending universities

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

    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.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora