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Clinton Affirms 'Strong' U.S. Support For Egypt's Democratic Transition

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has pledged Washington's "strong support" for Egypt's democratic transition.

Clinton was speaking in Cairo on July 14 after talks with Egyptian President Muhammad Mursi, who took office late last month as Egypt's first elected civilian and Islamist president.

Clinton said she had commended Mursi for his promise to be a president for all Egyptians and to protect the rights of women and minorities.

"The president and I discussed the importance of keeping Egypt's democratic transition moving forward and I commended him on his pledge to serve all Egyptians, including women and minorities, and to protect the rights of all Egyptians," Clinton said.

Clinton commended the military for protecting the people and condemned Syria whose military is 'murdering their own people.'

"This is first and foremost a question for the Egyptian people but the United States supports the full transition to civilian rule with all that entails and we have commended the SCAF [Egypt's Supreme Council of the Armed Forces] for representing the Egyptian people in the revolution, as compared to what we are seeing in Syria, which is the military murdering their own people," added Clinton.

Clinton also urged Mursi to start a political dialogue with the generals who have ruled the country since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak last year.

"Democracy is hard. We have been at this for more than 236 years, and it requires dialogue and compromise and real politics. So we are encouraged and we want to be helpful but we know that it is not for the United States to decide, it is for the Egyptian people to decide," Clinton explained.

Mursi is also locked in a battle with the country's judiciary after he reinstated parliament in defiance of a ruling by the country's highest court to invalidate the legislature.

Clinton also said the Washington would grant Cairo $250 million in credit guarantees for trade and would create a $60-million investment fund for the Middle Eastern country.

Later today, Clinton is due to meet with Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, the head of the powerful Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.

Based on reporting by AFP, AP and Reuters

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