Clinton was not hit by the protesters chanting “Monica, Monica” on the same day she met the country’s top general.
By Daniel Politi,Slate
, July 15, 2012T
Egyptian Military Dictator, Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi meets with U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton.
Protesters threw tomatoes and shoes at Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s motorcade Sunday during her visit to Egypt. Although a tomato hit an Egyptian official in the face, the armored car carrying Clinton was around the corner from the incident, reports Reuters
. Protesters were chanting “Monica, Monica,” in reference to Monica Lewinsky.
It was not clear who the protesters were but several liberal and Christian politicians have criticized Clinton’s visit, saying the United States is biased towards the Muslim Brotherhood. Indeed, rumors of a secret agreement between the United States and the Brotherhood “is a common refrain among the opponents of Clinton’s visit,” notes Egypt’s Ahram.
The attack on her motorcade came after Clinton emphasized that Washington is staying out of Egypt’s internal affairs. "I want to be clear that the United States is not in the business, in Egypt, of choosing winners and losers, even if we could, which of course we cannot," Clinton said at a newly reopened U.S. consulate in Alexandria.
Earlier, Clinton met with Egypt’s top general, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi and urged him to work with Egypt’s elected president Mohammed Morsi. Yet in a clear display of the power struggle that persists in Egypt following Morsi’s election, Tantawi said after the meeting that “the armed forces will not allow anyone, especially those pushed from the outside, to distract it from its role as the protector of Egypt,” reports the Associated Press
Saturday, July 15: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton became the highest-ranking U.S. leader to meet with Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi as the country continues to be mired in political struggles. It wasn’t too long ago when the United States said it did not speak to the Muslim Brotherhood and never would, notes the BBC’s Jon Leyne. Yet Clinton’s meeting was yet another example of how the Obama administration has been quick to try to engage with the new administration, knowing there is little it can do to change the situation.
“Things change at kind of a warp speed,” Clinton said. For his part, Morsi took pains to make sure Clinton knew she was welcome in Egypt. “We are very, very keen to meet you and happy that you are here,” Morsi said, reports the Associated Press.
After the meeting, Clinton said that while the United States supports the full transition to democratic rule in Egypt, she emphasized it was up to the Egyptians to decide their won fate, reports Reuters. Egypt is currently witnessing a power struggle between the military and the new civilian president, illustrating “how blurred the lines of power remain,” notes the Washington Post
The New York Times
hears word that Clinton planned to deliver a “forceful public speech” about democracy but it was called off because it was seen as too risky at a time of transition when there are far too many open questions about what the future might hold for a country that has long been a key U.S. ally in the region.