Hillary Clinton to Meet Egypt's Leader Mohammed Mursi

by
staff
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is set to arrive in Egypt for a key meeting with its new president.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during the U.S.-ASEAN Business Forum's dinner in Siem Reap province July 13, 2012.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is set to arrive in Egypt for a key meeting with its new president.

Mrs Clinton is expected to seek assurances from Mohammed Mursi on both foreign and domestic policy.

Mr Mursi has become embroiled in a constitutional crisis after trying to reinstate a parliament dissolved by the judiciary and the military.

Mrs Clinton has backed Mr Mursi, saying Egyptians should get the government they voted for.

Mr Mursi, of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, was elected in June in the country's first ever freely contested leadership vote.

'Prevent confrontation'

The BBC's Jon Leyne, in Cairo, says that not so many years ago, one US secretary of state declared that Washington did not speak with the Muslim Brotherhood, and never would.

But, he says, the administration of Barack Obama has been quick to engage with the new president - a case of accepting the inevitable and trying to make the best of it.

The US government wants to see Egyptian democracy and human rights being protected.

The Muslim Brotherhood has repeatedly stressed it does not want to be isolated internationally, not least because the country depends so heavily on international trade and tourism.

Mr Mursi has tried to defuse the row over parliament - a body he tried to reinstate by decree last weekend.

The chamber was dominated by Mr Mursi's Islamist allies, and was shut down by the military before he took power.

The Supreme Constitutional Court has said the dissolution is final.

Mr Mursi has said he is "committed to the rulings of Egyptian judges and very keen to manage state powers and prevent any confrontation".

Earlier this week, Mrs Clinton said Egyptians should "get what they protested for and what they voted for, which is a fully-elected government making the decisions for the country going forward".

Mrs Clinton arrives in Egypt from a week-long trip to Asia, and will later visit Israel.