Clinton to hold talks with Morsy over crisis
Posted Saturday, July 14 2012 at 18:42
- US diplomat will also meet other top officials as wellas civil society groups
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Cairo on Saturday for talks with new President Mohamed Morsy, amid a power struggle between the Islamist leader and the generals who ruled Egypt after Hosni Mubarak was ousted.
It is Clinton’s second visit to the Arab world’s most populous nation since a popular uprising overthrew long-time US ally Hosni Mubarak last year.
Over two days, she will meet Morsy — a senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood until he was sworn in last month — and other top officials, as well as civil society groups, the official MENA news agency reported.
Clinton steps into the political maelstrom of a complex power struggle between the president and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF).
Last week, Morsy ordered parliament to convene, defying a military decision to disband the house after the country’s top court ruled it invalid.
Morsiys decree was applauded by supporters who believed the court’s decision to disband parliament was political, but it set off a fire storm of criticism from opponents who accused him of overstepping his authority.
The origins of the battle for parliament lay in the constitutional declaration issued by the SCAF before the president was sworn in.
The declaration, which acts as a temporary constitution until a new one is drafted, granted the military sweeping powers, including legislative control, and rendered the presidential post little more than symbolic.
Morsy’s decision was seen as an opening shot in a power struggle between Egypt’s first civilian leader and the Mubarak-appointed generals who wanted to retain broad powers even after they transferred control on June 30.
But on Wednesday, Morsy said he would respect a court ruling overturning his decree, in an apparent bid to mollify an infuriated judiciary and the powerful military.
Earlier this week, Clinton urged dialogue between all parties.
The Egyptian people 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”, she added.