US official in Cairo in wake of Mubarak downfall

By Agence France-Presse
Monday, February 21, 2011 16:17 EDT
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CAIRO – US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns arrived on Monday to take stock of the situation in Egypt 10 days after the downfall of Hosni Mubarak, the US embassy in Cairo said.

Besides meeting leaders of Egypt’s interim military-led administration, the Arabic-speaking veteran diplomat is to see representatives of civil society, the embassy said.

In announcing his visit last week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the United States would offer Egypt — already a big recipient of US aid — some $150 million to help its political and economic transition.

Burns comes to Cairo as revolt in the Arab world — inspired by the 18-day uprising against longtime president Mubarak and the earlier ouster of his Tunisian counterpart — widens from the Gulf to the Maghreb.

He arrived shortly before British Prime Minister David Cameron flew into Cairo to become the first foreign leader to visit Egypt since Mubarak’s resignation.

Speaking to reporters after a meeting with Arab League chief Amr Mussa, with whom he discussed unfolding developments in Egypt and the Middle East, Burns saluted Egyptians on the “historic transition to democracy”.

Washington looked forward to listening to the priorities of the new government and it would encourage “concrete steps” towards real political change, he said.

“The United States looks forward to remaining a very strong partner of Egypt and the Egyptians,” Burns added.

“This is a moment of extraordinary promise for Egypt and Egyptians,” he said.

“It’s a historic transition to democracy; it’s a moment when voices and courage and sacrifice and the remarkable peaceful determination of Tahrir Square has been heard around the region and around the world.”

He added: “We respect and admire what has been achieved — but we know that the way ahead is not going to be easy.”

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
AFP journalists cover wars, conflicts, politics, science, health, the environment, technology, fashion, entertainment, the offbeat, sports and a whole lot more in text, photographs, video, graphics and online.
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  • Johnny Warbucks

    To take stock of the situation in Egypt? Why the fuck does the US have to take stock of the situation in Egypt? Who died and left them in charge? If they wanna take stock of any situation, how about going over to Libya and taking stock of the situation over there where that murderer Qadaffi has unleashed mercenaries with machine guns on unarmed protesters and is bombarding the civilian population with his fighter jets? Now, there’s a situation to take stock off.

  • DesertWren

    Ha! This is an example of why Chalmers Johnson considered Israel a client state rather than a satellite state of the U.S. A client state sometimes can get its benefactor to do what it wants. This visit is to ensure that the new government of Egypt does not open up the border with Gaza or worse, take sides with the Palestinians.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/6EX2KJ7LSZMDCBZWCH62Q7CABY Sandra

    We only have CIA run tweets telling us that. Don’t fall for the same trick. Halliburton is the one trying to oust Qadaffi, he’s one of the obstacles between the US and Iran.

  • NadePaulKuciGravMcKi

    Rushing in to make new arms deals.

    Just like the UK is.

  • Johnny Warbucks

    I beg to differ. Halliburton is hardly alone on that one. Big Oil has much bigger interests in Libya. And there are a host of other predatory uber-corporations that would jump in at the chance to do to Libya what they have done to Iraq.

  • Anonymous

    Egypt’s military has warned people against staging fresh pro-democracy protests, saying it will not allow constant “illegal” strikes and demonstrations that have wreaked havoc on the economy.

    This is the part where Obama, Clinton, and Amnesty International remain silent. Seems like only a week ago they were on people’s side…