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In Egypt Visit, Clinton Meets Morsi, Army Chief
July 15, 2012

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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton completed a weekend of meetings with two of Egypt's most powerful leaders.

On Saturday, Clinton met with President Mohammed Morsi, recognizing him as the legitimate executive leader of Egypt and urging to him to take a more forceful role in the ongoing power struggle at the top echelons of government.

Then on Sunday, Clinton met with Field Marshal Mohamed Tantawi, the head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which has run the country since the abdication of Hosni Mubarak in February 2011. At that meeting, Clinton urged Tantawi to continue the transition away from military rule and toward rule by elected officials, with Morsi at the head of that list.

Afterward, Clinton was keen to reaffirm her country's stated position that it did not take sides in Egyptian politics but that her country would continue to encourage a peaceful transition to democratic rule. Last week, Egypt's high court upheld a SCAF decree dissolving Parliament, despite Morsi's subsequent decree for Parliament to reassemble.

Clinton also met with Egyptian business leaders, echoing another point of discussion she had with both Morsi and Tantawi — the fate of continued economic aid that the U.S. has been earmarking for Egypt. Also on the table was the issue of the U.S. relieving as much as $1 billion in Egyptian debt.

In a subsequent visit to attend a ceremony at the newly reopened U.S. Consulate in Alexandria, Clinton faced an angry crowd of protesters, some of whom threw shoes and vegetables at the Clinton motorcade. Riot police had to hold back the crowd. No one was injured, although an Egyptian official was struck in the face by a hurled tomato.

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