Hillary Clinton laughs it up with Muslim Brotherhood, pledges hundreds of millions in US taxpayer dollars ..
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton used her first meeting with Egypt’s new Islamist president to press Mohammed Morsi to start a dialogue with military leaders as a way of preserving the country’s transition to democracy.
Clinton voiced support for the “full transition” to civilian rule at a time when Morsi’s backers are in a political standoff with the generals who have ruled since President Hosni Mubarak was ousted last year.
Resolving the impasse “requires dialogue and compromise, real politics,” Clinton said. She said the United States is doing all it can to “support the democratically elected government and to help make it a success in delivering results for the people of Egypt.”
The meeting at the presidential palace kicked off a series of high-level sessions aimed at stabilizing Egypt’s fledgling democracy and its alliance with the United States, once rock-solid but now increasingly shaky.
“Things change (at) kind of warp speed,” Clinton told Morsi as they began their meeting.
Clinton and Morsi didn’t shake hands, at least when they first appeared before reporters – a subject of much speculation because of Morsi’s Muslim faith. But the president shook hands with Clinton and the entire U.S. delegation behind closed doors, according to a U.S. official.
In her discussions with Morsi, Clinton emphasized the need for Egypt to adhere to its 1979 peace treaty with Israel, while also seeking continued counterterrorism cooperation and offering U.S. support to help Cairo regain control of the increasingly lawless Sinai Peninsula – a major security concern for Israel.
For Egypt’s sake, Clinton pledged hundreds of millions of dollars in debt relief, private investment capital and job creation funds – money the Obama administration has outlined previously. She told Morsi she would send a large business delegation to Cairo in September to strengthen U.S.-Egyptian economic ties.
Clinton held discussions later Saturday with Amr. She was to meet Sunday with the head of the military council, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, before visiting the port city of Alexandria to meet with leading women, the Coptic Christian community and young entrepreneurs. She then was to head on to Israel.
A large and vocal crowd massed outside the hotel where Clinton was to stay in Cairo, chanting and carrying anti-American signs.
Her stop in the Mideast comes after a weeklong trip to Asia, where she courted investments and sought democratic reforms from governments long seen as closer to China than the U.S