Clinton to visit Egypt, Israel after Asia trip (HA´ARETZ NEWS) By Natasha Mozgovaya 07/06/12)
HA'ARETZ} NEWS SERVICE
HA'ARETZ} NEWS SERVICE Articles-Index-Top
Clinton will be first U.S. senior official to meet with Egypt´s new
president, Mohammed Morsi; her visit to Israel will be her first in
Following reports of an upcoming visit of U.S. Secretary of State to
Cairo in the Egyptian daily Al-Ahram over a week ago, the Department
of State officially confirmed on Thursday that Hillary Clinton will
indeed visit Cairo, and Israel, this month, as part of an 8-country
trip through Asia that she began on Thursday.
Clinton´s meeting with new Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, will
make her the first U.S. senior official to visit Egypt after the
presidential elections this year. Clinton visited Egypt in March 2011.
According to a State Department statement, from July 15 to 16,
Clinton "will meet with senior government officials, civil society,
and business leaders, and inaugurate the U.S. Consulate General in
Alexandria. The general purpose of the visit was defined
as "expressing the United States’ support for Egypt’s democratic
transition and economic development."
From Egypt, Clinton will continue to Israel from July 16 - 17, for
her first visit in two years. In Israel, she will "discuss peace
efforts and a range of regional and bilateral issues of mutual
concern." This will be the final stop on her trip. Earlier stops
include Japan, where she will attend a conference on Afghanistan,
Mongolia, Vietnam, and a historical visit to Laos and Cambodia.
In Israel, Clinton might find herself in an awkward position - her
visit precedes that of Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney,
and she would probably be urged to make some positive statements on
the U.S.-Israel relationship. But on the diplomatic front, with the
current rifts in Netanyahu´s coalition, it´s not clear at all that
this government, much praised by her as a possibility to promote
peace, will be able to deliver.
The U.S. administration has been trying to navigate its relations
with the emerging Egyptian leadership carefully, supporting the
general course of the transition as opposed to specific players. When
President Obama called to congratulate Morsi on the win, in a rare
step, he also called his defeated rival, Ahmed Shafiq.
Since the election results, the administration has been sending
positive signals both to the new president, praising his
announcements of plans for inclusive government, and commending the
army officials for their role in transition, and stressing again and
again that the U.S. sees upholding the peace treaty with Israel as
part of the future government´s international commitments.
On Friday, in one of the first stops of her trip, Clinton will attend
the "Friends of Syria" meeting in Paris, where she will consult with
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on the margins of the forum. Both
Russia and China announced they are skipping the forum - a major
setback for Clinton, who said in interviews following her meeting
with Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov that she got an impression
that the Kremlin is ready to abandon Assad, and has no strategic
interest in supporting his regime. (© Copyright 2012 Ha´aretz
Return to Top
MATERIAL REPRODUCED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY