Sunday, February 19, 2006

Condoleezza Rice visits Egypt to meet Political Opponents

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice leaves Monday on a Middle East tour to push efforts to spread democracy. She will head first to Cairo, Egypt, where on Tuesday she will meet with Egyptian leaders as well as political opponents of President Hosni Mubarak.

Here are some of Condi's statements to the press before her Middle East trip. The statements speak for themselves:

She was "disappointed" that Mubarak has postponed municipal elections, scheduled to be held in April, for two years.

"The message that I will take to Egypt is that Egypt needs to stay on the democratic course...It needs to keep pushing ahead on the democratic course."

"It is a great civilization and great people and it can lead the democratic progress in the Arab world. I would hope that it will do that."

"The time is "not right" for a free trade accord between the United States and Egypt."

"It is important that we have the right atmosphere for free-trade agreements because they have to of course go through Congress, they have to be approved. But it is not a matter of punishment, it's just a matter of the timing being not quite right."

I hope she won't miss meeting opposition leader Ayman Nour and the Egyptian Judges.

Condi’s Transformational Diplomacy
Condi Blasts Egypt-Saudi Mediation Efforts for Syria


At 1:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds good.

I know it's a longshot but I somehow hope Condi presses the Egyptian Government to speed up the internal enquiry into the reasons behind the massacre of Sudanese refugees at Mustafa Mahmoud, which the White House condemned.
After all, it was only after Dick Cheney told the Egyptian Government that they freed the imprisoned Sudanese refugees and gave them the refugee status that they'd been denied!

At 5:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is US policy for its officals not to meet convicted people in the countries it pays offical visits to. This would be considered a blatand foreign intervention the country's domestic policy. We both know that Nour has been convicted on trumped up charges but nevertheless this does not change the status of Nour. As far as Egypt is concerned Nour has been convicted in a court of law according to the country's legal framework.

At 8:21 AM, Anonymous CD said...

Do you really think the purpose of the visit is to meet opposition politicians?

That is rather doubtful, to say the least. What could be the purpose? It is evidently not trade. What about finding support among the stronger Arab states for putting pressure on Iran, before its nuclear programme is going to be dealt with in the Security Council?

At 11:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Egypt isn't on the Security Council, the Security Council member from the Arab region is Qatar and from the African region there is Ghana, the United Republic of Tanzania and The Republic of the Congo which is also head of the African Union.

It is not foreseeable that any of those Security Council members will be sympathetic with Iran and the Iranian question will come to to a question of political posturing between the big powers - Russia, the USA, China and the EU.

How exactly do Egypt and the Arab States fit into the equation?

At 1:16 PM, Blogger Cosmic Duck said...


That is correct, but it is part of indirect pressure to isolate the country. It's easier for the US to get its way in the Security Council if there is a general concensus.

At 2:54 PM, Blogger Freedom for Egyptians said...

Anon 5:04

At least I believe madame secretary could ask about his case, especially that there are so many accusations that he has undergone unfair trial. Knowing the current political and judicial situation in Egypt, I do not rule out the accusation and I believe it needs questioning.

At 2:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cosmic Duck,

You are also correct but aren't we in the era where the USA does what it wants, without consensus - even of it's Security Council allies - France, Russia and China in the case of the Iraq War for example.

Condi is going to Egypt with a set of demands with no promises in return - and rightfully so.

At 9:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sometimes i don't understand what the US wants. They want people to express themselves and vote. Ok, this was done in Palestine, Hamas won, US not happy because they're not legal (or terrorist or whatever)!!!. In Egypt, if you held elections now, MB will win, will this make the US happier? no, they'll face the same problem as with Hamas (MB is not a terrorist group...yet, but outlawed). When they have a secular regime, they push (with unawareness) to Islamism; and when Islamist wins, they claim they're not legal or democratic. And by encouraging democracies in higlhy muslim countries, what do they expect apart from a new islamic regime? in one hand they push for more extremism/islamism (covered under said democracies) and on the other hand, they fight islamists/extremists. WHAT DO THEY WANT?????

At 8:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 1:30 AM, Blogger Camilo Pino said...

Condoleezza has a difficult trip scheduled for March the 11th. She is attending the inauguration of the first ever South American President, Chile’s Michelle Bachelet. Problem is she may not enjoy the company. Secretary of State will be hanging with regional presidents not exactly of her like, namely Hugo Chavez, Evo Morales and Nelson Kirchner.

Expect her to spend time with Alvaro Uribe and do not be surprised if she tries to ignore Chavez at all costs, as President Bush did in Viña Del Mar.


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