“Monica” chants taunt Clinton in Egypt
Protesters threw tomatoes and shoes at Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s motorcade on Sunday during her first visit to Egypt since the election of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi.
A tomato struck an Egyptian official in the face, and shoes and a water bottle landed near the armoured cars carrying Clinton’s delegation in the port city of Alexandria.
A senior state department official said that neither Clinton nor her vehicle, which were around the corner from the incident, were struck by any of the projectiles.
Protesters chanted: “Monica, Monica”, a reference to Former President Bill Clinton’s extra-marital affair. Some chanted: “leave, Clinton”, Egyptian security officials said.
The assault on her motorcade came on a day Clinton spoke at the newly re-opened US consulate in Alexandria, addressing accusations the United States, which had long supported former President Hosni Mubarak, of backing one faction or another in Egypt following his ouster last year.
“I want to be clear that the United States is not in the business, in Egypt, of choosing winners and losers, even if we could, which of course we cannot,” Clinton said.
Clinton also met the country’s top general, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, on Sunday to discuss Egypt’s turbulent democratic transition as the military wrestles for influence with the new president.
The protest appears to have been the result of suspicions that Washington had helped the Muslim Brotherhood win elections in Egypt in the wake of last year’s ouster of president Hosni Mubarak after 18 days of massive street protests.
“I want to be clear that the United States is not in the business, in Egypt, of choosing winners and losers, even if we could, which, of course, we cannot,” Clinton said at the opening of the consulate.
The consulate was closed in 1993 due to budget cuts but has been reopened to assist the Egyptian economy in a key port city.
After the ceremony, Clinton left for Israel for top-level talks expected to focus on Iran’s nuclear program and the stalled Palestinian peace process.
With her are US Middle East envoy David Hale and Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman, who represents Washington at talks between world powers and Iran.
The 24-hour visit comes at the tail end of an eight-nation tour spanning Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Clinton has scheduled meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Defence Minister Ehud Barak.
She will also meet Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad, a senior official said. Earlier this month, she held talks in Paris with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.
ahh..they have a keen sense of humour the egyptians