Clinton faces tough task on Arab upheavalMarch 16th, 2011 - 1:50 pm ICT by ANI
Cairo, Mar.16 (ANI): A coalition of six youth groups that have become vocal movers in Egypt’s revolutionary movement have revealed on their Facebook page that they had refused an invitation to meet with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her visit to Cairo.
Their rejection was “based on her negative position from the beginning of the revolution and the position of the US administration in the Middle East.”
The rejection was revealed as Clinton, in her first visit to Cairo since the fall of former president and US ally Hosni Mubarak, urged the new Egyptian government to continue the transition to democracy - offering US support for the tough road ahead.
“To the people of Egypt, let me say: this moment of history belongs to you,” said Secretary Clinton after a meeting with Egypt’s new foreign minister, Nabil El Arabi.
She added: “This is your achievement and you broke barriers and overcame obstacles to pursue the dream of democracy.”
Clinton also announced a two billion dollar emergency economic assistance package to help Egypt recover.
There is also bad news for her from other Arab states, who view the United States has having ditched a key ally in Mubarak when he was faced with a major political crisis.
“US policy is going backwards. If Arabs thought that US policy was bad during Egypt’s revolution, it’s worse now,” the Christian Science Monitor (CSM) quoted Shadi Hamid, director of research at Brookings Doha Center in Qatar, as saying.
Hamid added: “Arabs are not going to forget who was with them and who was against them in their struggle for democracy. If the US is remembered as being on the wrong side of history here, that is going to further damage its influence and credibility in the region.”
The US has been criticized for its response to the revolution in Egypt, with the White House, State Department, and Pentagon not always in sync.
By the end of the uprising, the administration had adopted more cohesive rhetoric supportive of the protesters demands for democratic change. But for many Egyptians, it was too late.
Emad Gad, an analyst at the state-funded Al Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, calls the US response to the revolution a “black spot” on the record of the Obama administration.
“Perhaps this will be the last chance for Hillary Clinton to change the stereotype of the American position toward the revolution,” he says.
The US risks the same outcome, or worse, in places like Bahrain and Yemen, says Dr. Hamid.
Both nations have cracked down on protesters demanding change.
On Tuesday, Clinton called for restraint in Bahrain, saying all sides must take steps toward political resolution of the crisis.
Bahrain, home to the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet, is a majority Shiite country ruled by a Sunni family, and some fear that Iran - as well as neighboring Saudi Arabia - will try to take advantage of the upheaval to boost its own interests.
In Yemen, the recipient of 250 million dollars in US counter-terrorism aid to combat a regional Al Qaeda franchise over the past five years.
The US has urged both nations to avoid violence, but taken little concrete action. (ANI)
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- No one in Arab world is pro-American anymore, says Middle-East expert - Feb 04, 2011
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- WikiLeaks leaked cable reveals delicacy of US ties with key ally Egypt - Jan 28, 2011
- Egypt's transition must begin now: Obama - Feb 02, 2011
- Unrest swells in Egypt as cornered government bans Al-Jazeera (Roundup) - Jan 30, 2011
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