Monday 11 December 2017

Clinton calls on Egypt's military to surrender power

Egyptian military chief Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi (R) meets with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the Defence Ministry in Cairo July 15, 2012. Photo: Reuters
Egyptian military chief Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi (R) meets with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the Defence Ministry in Cairo July 15, 2012. Photo: Reuters

Adrian Blomfield in Jerusalem

Hillary Clinton stepped up pressure on Egypt's military leadership to surrender its political powers as she concluded one of the most sensitive diplomatic missions of her career yesterday.

In a highly symbolic moment, the US secretary of state smiled and exchanged pleasantries with Mohammed Morsi, Egypt's new Islamist president, who was jailed by Hosni Mubarak's regime that Washington sustained for decades.

It was a trip that required the deftest of diplomatic manoeuvring to recalibrate Washington's troubled relationship with a core ally. She broached the subject of Egypt's power struggle between its generals and Mr Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood delicately, looking forward to "the military's return to a surely national security role", before meeting the military council's chief, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi.

"Democracy is hard," she said. "It requires dialogue and compromise and real politics. But we know that it is not for the United States to decide; it is for the Egyptian people to decide."

Her words did not appear to yield immediate results as Field Marshal Tantawi declared that he would never let the Muslim Brotherhood dominate Egypt. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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