U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke during her first visit to Egypt since the popular uprising that overthrew the U.S.-backed President Hosni Mubarak. On Tuesday, Clinton was snubbed by the main coalition of Egyptian youth groups that spearheaded the anti-Mubarak protests. In a statement, the January 25 Revolution Youth Coalition said it had turned down an invitation to meet Clinton, saying: “Based on [Clinton’s] negative position from the beginning of the revolution and the position of the U.S. administration in the Middle East, we reject this invitation.” When the uprising began, Clinton staunchly defended Mubarak, saying, “Our assessment is that the Egyptian government is stable and is looking for ways to respond to the legitimate needs and interests of the Egyptian people.” Clinton used similar language on Tuesday after meeting with officials from Egypt’s transitional government.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: “I am particularly pleased that the minister and I discussed in great detail, with others who were there, the economic needs, the need to rebuild a police force that will have the trust of the people. And I applaud the announcement today of the dismantling of the existing state security apparatus and the rebuilding of one that will be responsive to the needs of Egyptians.”