May 18, 2013 | 07:32 PM (BD Time)
18 May, 2013 Saturday
US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton listens to Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi before a meeting at the Ministry of Defense on Sunday in Cairo.
Hillary meets Egypt military leader
. BBC Online
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has met the head of Egypt's top military council, Field Marshal Mohamad Hussein Tantawi, on the second day of her visit to the country.
Clinton discussed the transition of power to newly elected President Mohammed Mursi and stressed the need to protect the rights of all Egyptians, US officials said.
Clinton met Mursi on Saturday.
Mursi and the military have been in conflict over parliament's dissolution.
The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (Scaf) shut down the chamber, dominated by Mursi's Islamist allies, before he was formally sworn in last month.
It also stripped the new president, elected in the country's first freely contested leadership vote earlier in June, of many of his powers.
Mursi, of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, tried to reinstate parliament by decree last weekend. The Supreme Constitutional Court has said the dissolution is final.
As head of the Scaf, Field Marshal Tantawi became Egypt's interim ruler after the fall of President Hosni Mubarak in February last year.
Clinton held talks for more than an hour on Sunday with Field Marshal Tantawi.
Hillary Clinton wanted to come to Egypt soon after the elections because the US believes it is important to engage with President Mursi early on. The meeting was described by officials as good and candid but this is still a tentative relationship, not a full embrace.
The US administration is slowly feeling its way in the region, learning to work with groups that Washington has shunned in the past.
When Condoleezza Rice was here in 2005 as US secretary of state, she was categorical - the US would not engage with the Muslim Brotherhood. But in the new Arab world, long-held American assumptions about who is a friend or not have been shattered. And new problems have emerged.
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