Hillary Clinton backs US’ cautious response to 18-day Egypt revolution

Thursday, February 24, 2011

WASHINGTON - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said that the Obama administration was “walking a balance” in Egypt because it wanted to make sure that its support didn’t lead to an outbreak of violence.

“We wanted to see the aspirations of the Egyptian people, particularly young people, realized. And then we advocated from the very beginning for a reform process that would lead to an Egyptian model of democracy,” she said.

“So I think that we were walking a balance, because we wanted to be sure that our message did not push anyone into doing something that we disagreed with, namely violence, which we tried to, in every way possible, prevent,” she added.

Many critics had urged President Barack Obama to call for the end of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year reign, but Obama and his cabinet -including Clinton - instead had advocated for an “orderly transition that is responsive to the aspirations of the Egyptian people”.

Clinton also warned that democracy is not just an election, citing Iran where citizens continue to be denied freedom or human rights in the wake of its recent election.

“What Egypt is now grappling with is how to have a sustainable, enduring democracy, where, yes, the rights of minorities are protected, the rights of women are protected, you have an independent judiciary, an independent and free media, including social media, where the economic shackles are thrown off so that young people can start businesses without having to pay off bribes to government officials,” the Secretary of State said.

“There’s so much now to be done, and the United States stands ready to assist in every way possible,” she added. (ANI)

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