News / Middle East

Clinton Offers Aid to Egypt's Feuding Civilian, Military Leaders

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, left, meets with Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, right, at the Ministry of Defense in Cairo, Egypt, July 15, 2012.U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, left, meets with Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, right, at the Ministry of Defense in Cairo, Egypt, July 15, 2012.
x
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, left, meets with Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, right, at the Ministry of Defense in Cairo, Egypt, July 15, 2012.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, left, meets with Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, right, at the Ministry of Defense in Cairo, Egypt, July 15, 2012.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Tel Aviv after ending two days of talks with Egypt's quarrelling civilian and military leaders. She offered them U.S. assistance for the struggling Egyptian economy without publicly taking sides in their ongoing power struggle. 

 

A U.S. State Department official said Clinton discussed U.S. aid proposals at a meeting in Cairo Sunday with Egyptian military chief Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi. The official said Tantawi told Clinton that reviving the Egyptian economy is a priority for his country. Clinton revealed details of the U.S. aid pledge on Saturday, when she held talks with Egypt's Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, who took office last month.

 

VOA correspondent Scott Stearns, who is traveling with Clinton, said debt relief is a major part of the U.S. package. 

 

"In both her talks with President Morsi and Field Marshal Tantawi, she discussed the U.S. ability to help the Egyptian economy. The political instability here in Egypt has really hurt economic growth and tourism revenue. So U.S. President Barack Obama is proposing a package of debt relief that could go as high as $1 billion. Tantawi said that's really the chief priority now; that's what Egyptians need - a better economy," he said. 

 

Other U.S. aid proposals include a $60 million fund for Egypt's small- and medium-sized businesses and $250 million in private-sector loan guarantees. Stearns said Egypt will have to negotiate the terms of the broader debt relief package with the United States, but that process cannot begin until Mr. Morsi forms a Cabinet. 

 

The U.S. State Department official said Clinton also urged Tantawi to protect the rights of all Egyptians, including women and minorities, as military leaders and President Morsi try to resolve disputes about the country's political transition.

 

A Tantawi-led military council transferred the leadership of the country to Mr. Morsi after he won the country's first free presidential election in a military supervised vote. But days before Mr. Morsi's inauguration, the military council stripped the presidency of much of its power and disbanded an elected lower house of parliament dominated by his Islamist allies. Mr. Morsi ordered the assembly to reconvene in defiance of the military.

 

The power struggle has left the United States in a delicate position with Egypt, a longtime ally ruled for decades by military figures who suppressed Islamist opposition movements. 

 

Speaking Saturday, Clinton urged the Egyptian military to return to a "purely national security role." But she also said it is up to the Egyptian people, not the United States, to determine their democratic development through dialogue and compromise. 

 

After Sunday's meeting, Tantawi said the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces "respects" the country's legislative and executive authorities. But speaking in Ismaila, he also warned that the military will not allow any group to undermine its role of protecting Egypt. 

 

Clinton later visited the U.S. embassy in Cairo and told diplomatic staff that Egypt must do more to become a true democracy.

 

"Elections are just the beginning. It's not the end of anything. Now a government must be formed, a government that will respect the rights of all Egyptians: men and women, Muslims and Christians, wherever they live in the country. We respect the right of Egyptians to build their country, but we believe strongly that universal rights must be protected. All people deserve dignity. All people deserve their freedom," she said. 

 

Clinton was due to depart for Israel late Sunday.


Michael Lipin

Michael covers international news for VOA on the web, radio and TV, specializing in the Middle East and East Asia Pacific. Follow him on Twitter @Michael_Lipin

You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
 Previous    
by: Artoro from: Brazil
July 15, 2012 9:31 AM
hey Clinton... Islam is renowned for defiling contracts... the first thing the Egyptian Islamists said was their intention to renounce the peace treaty with israel... God, I hope Israel take back their Sinai

In Response

by: Doriaann from: USA
July 15, 2012 2:13 PM
Not only that but we are ??? trillion dollars in debt, wondering how to take care of ourselves. How about dealing with that before we give any more away.

In Response

by: McArthur
July 15, 2012 12:13 PM
Reneging the Israel-Egypt peace treaty will be a huge mistake by islamist president Morsi, with serious consequences. Antisemitism and anti-israeli policies and rhetorics are seen as the main criteria defining an islamic regime. In this regard, As an islamist, Morsi needs to reaffirm his anti-israel policies. But if he wants war, he will get it. Israel stands ready to swiftly react to any provocation.


by: Michael from: USA
July 15, 2012 8:25 AM
Frau Clinton gave her opinion that the transition is for the Egyptian people to decide because she is probably looking at the situation in whole, when in fact law is at issue, but a list of specific directions is not given since the United States does not want to set a fixed basis on which Egyptian leadership would perhaps be artificially defined. So I think her statement is justified

In Response

by: ed strigle from: colo
July 15, 2012 2:04 PM
i would hope mrs clinton is using her money and not my tax dollars . seems to me we need the money at home mrs clinton get a life

Comments page of 2
 Previous    

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid