Egypt: Hillary meets Mursi, urges full civilian rule
Cairo: Visiting US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held bilateral talks with newly-elected Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi, Xinhua reported.
The two leaders on Saturday discussed Egypt's transition to democracy and ways to boost bilateral relations, in addition to regional issues such as the Syrian crisis and the Middle East peace process.
"The United States supports the full transition to civilian rule, with all that it entails," she said.
Later, at a joint press conference with Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr, after her talks with Mursi at the presidential palace, Hillary said: “We do support the democratic transition, but we know it is for Egyptians to decide your way forward”.
"Democracy is hard. It requires dialogue, compromise and real politics. We will continue to support the Egyptian people making these decisions in the best way we can," she said.
"We now are doing all we can to support the democratically-elected government and to help make it a success in delivering results for the people of Egypt," Hillary said.
Outside the Presidential Palace, dozens of Egyptians protested against the visit of Hillary.
"Compensation for the victims of American torture in Guantanamo", read one banner. "You are not welcome in Egypt", said another with a picture of Hillary.
Near the US embassy, hundreds of people gathered to reject "the intervention of the US administration in Egypt's domestic affairs", the official MENA news agency reported.
Some people held Egyptian national flags and banners with slogans like "Stop US funding of the Muslim Brotherhood", "Obama, don't send your dollars to Jihadists" and "Egypt will never be Pakistan". Riot police were deployed in front of the protesters.
Hillary arrived in Cairo on Saturday for a two-day visit. She is the first top US official to visit Egypt after Mursi assumed presidency on June 30. She will meet Egypt's military council chief Hussein Tantawi on Sunday.
"Obviously, we think it is important for all the nations in the region to try to maintain peace and stability, especially with so many economic challenges facing the region," Hillary said.
"We certainly support the continuation of the peace agreement (between Israel and Egypt) as it has brought great benefits to Egypt. We will continue to do so, enabling the president to focus on the economic conditions in the internal political situation here in the country," she said.
As to the Middle East peace process, Hillary said: "Our goal is to help bring about the two-state solution. We know it can only happen if there is negotiation between Israelis and the Palestinians. That can only happen if all Palestinians are committed to seeking a political resolution, renouncing violence. Reconciliation is up to the Palestinians."