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

    Russian-speaking Muslim Exiles Fear Possible Russia-Turkey Thaw

    Exiled from Russia as Islamic radicals and extremists, thousands found asylum in Turkey

    US Presidential Election Ends at Conventions for Territorial Citizens

    Citizens of US territories like Guam or Puerto Rico enjoy participation in US political process but are denied right to vote for president

    UN Syria Envoy: 'Devil Is in the Details' of Russian Aleppo Proposal

    UN uncertain about the possible humanitarian impact of Russian proposal to establish escape corridors in Aleppo

    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.
    Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Busi
    X
    July 28, 2016 4:16 AM
    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora