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July 14, 2012 (TSR) - US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton faced unprecedented protests on Saturday as she arrived in Egypt for key talks with President Mohammed Mursi.
Clinton’s visit is considered by some to be part of an alliance between Washington and the Muslim Brotherhood against those who want a civil state.
Diverse groups called for all of Egypt’s political forces to join the protest to reject US interference in Egypt’s internal affairs. Youth activists, MPs and journalists condemned the meeting, with many accusing the US of wanting to control the country.
The liberal Free Egyptians Party staged a protest held at 5pm on Saturday in front of the US embassy in Cairo.
The Free Egyptians Party was founded by prominent Coptic-Christian business tycoon Naguib Sawiris after the 25 January Revolution. The party’s main objective is to promote the economic and social development of Egypt. It ran under the umbrella of the liberal Egyptian Bloc during the 2011 parliamentary elections, winning 15 seats in Egypt’s parliament.
The “Leftist Youth” movement in Alexandria announced it would protest Clinton’s planned visit to the city’s iconic library on Sunday, calling on activists to gather at the library’s steps to prevent the Secretary from accessing the lobby.
The Egyptian Al Shorouk newspaper quoted Hassan Juma, coordinator of the movement in Alexandria, as saying: “We reject US intervention in Egypt’s internal affairs and them dictating orders to the free people of Egypt.”
He also warned the Mursi of the repercussions Alexandria visit, claiming it would “arouse the wrath” of Egyptians.
Juma reminded the president of the fate of the ousted president Hosni Mubarak, saying that his alliance with America turned the people against him.
Mubarak, who has toppled in a popular uprising last year, was a close ally of the United States and Israel.
Opposition to previous US state visits was violently suppressed by the country’s security forces.
MP Mohamed Abu Hamed called on his personal Twitter account for a rally on Saturday in front of the presidential palace to protest Clinton’s visit.
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.
The US Secretary of State is visiting Cairo for two days, where she will meet with Mursi and a number civil society activists.
Morsi is in a showdown with the generals since at least ceremonially gaining power on June 30. Right before his inauguration, the generals retained stripped him of many powers and kept them for themselves.
US Ambassador Anne Patterson described the visit as “very important.”